Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wild Turkey Facts

The turkey has been an important part of Thanksgiving dinner in the United States and other holiday meals throughout much of the world for centuries. However, every bird that makes its way to the table this week is actually a descendant of one of the six subspecies of wild turkey; native only to North America. Here are a few facts about this uniquely American bird.

  • Wild turkeys are significantly smaller and lighter than domesticated turkeys. Males usually weigh under 24 pounds and females less than     12 pounds.  
  • Wild turkeys have between 5,000 and 6,000 feathers. 
  • Unlike their domestic cousins who can't leave the ground, wild turkeys are very capable and agile fliers.
  • By the early 20th century, wild turkeys were nearly wiped out due to hunting and habitat loss. Conservation efforts begun in the 1940s have proved so successful that the species now exists in areas where it did not originally naturally occur.

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