What are the different types of wild turkeys?

Wild turkey

What are the 4 wild turkey species?

What are the 4 wild turkey species?

  • Eastern wild turkey. (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris)
  • Osceola wild turkey. (Meleagris gallopavo osceola)
  • Rio Grande wild turkey. (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia)
  • Merriam’s wild turkey. (Meleagris gallopavo merriami)
  • Gould’s wild turkey. (Meleagris gallopavo mexicana)

How many subspecies of wild turkeys are there?

The 5 Subspecies of North American Wild Turkey

The five North American wild turkey subspecies are the eastern, Osceola, Merriam’s, Gould’s, and Rio Grande.

What are the 5 turkey species?

There is only one North American wild turkey species, but the overall population is divided into five subspecies—eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam, and Gould’s wild turkeys.

What is the difference between Eastern and Rio Grande turkey?

Poults are relatively small when hatched; they only weigh 2 ounces. Eastern wild turkeys can be differentiated from Rio Grande wild turkeys by the coloration of the tips of the tail feathers and the upper tail coverts (feathers of the lower back, covering the base of the tail feathers).

What is the rarest turkey?

The Auburn, also known as the Light Brown, is a breed of domestic turkey. A heritage turkey, the Auburn is one of the rarest varieties currently in existence. It has been referenced by name in written records since the 18th century, and is named after the light reddish-brown color of its plumage.

What is the largest breed of wild turkey?

The Gould’s turkey is a bird of the mountainous areas of this region. It is the largest of the five subspecies and resembles the Merriam’s turkey. They have longer legs, larger feet, and larger center tail feathers than any of the other wild turkey subspecies in North America.

What is an Osceola turkey?

Osceola turkeys are the gobblers native to central and southern Florida, mostly south of Orlando. There’s also an Osceola and Eastern turkey hybrid, and the Eastern wild turkey is also found in Northern Florida. The estimated number of Osceola turkeys in Florida is about 100,000.

What does an Osceola turkey look like?

Osceola – The Osceola (or Florida) turkey has the narrowest range, occurring only in central and south Florida. They closely resemble Easterns except they tend to be leaner with longer legs, and their primary wing feathers have heavy black barring, as opposed to Eastern where the black-white barring is more even.

What states have Rio Grande turkeys?

The Rio Grande wild turkeys are concentrated in western desert regions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and other western states. Mexico also harbors a healthy population.

How can you tell turkey subspecies apart?

They feature dark-brown feather tips and barely any white in their feathers, which is usually the easiest way to tell them apart. They have especially long spurs and legs, but fairly short beards.

What is a group of turkeys called?

Very young birds are poults, while juvenile males are jakes, and juvenile females are jennies. A group of turkeys is called a rafter or a flock. A wild turkey’s gobble can be heard up to one mile away and is a primary means for a tom to communicate with his harem of hens.

Are white turkeys wild?

Some experts estimate that roughly one in 100 wild turkeys is white or mostly white-colored. They all agree that hens make up a much higher percentage of white turkeys than toms. That means a full-strutting adult smoke-phase gobbler is quite rare.

What is the hardest turkey to hunt?

1. Easterns: Hunter pressure in tight habitats make this subspecies the most difficult in the country. More turkey hunters roam Eastern states than any of the others. An Alabama Eastern three-year-old longbeard might be the most difficult turkey of all.

What does it mean if the turkey is grade A?

Grade A is the highest quality and the only grade you are likely to see at the retail level. The grade shield for poultry may be found on the following ready-to-cook products, whether chilled or frozen: whole carcasses and parts, and other boneless and/or skinless poultry products.

What are the three species of turkeys?

The six types of wild turkeys are: Eastern wild turkey, Osceola wild turkey, Gould’s wild turkey, Merriam’s wild turkey, Rio Grande wild turkey, and the Ocellated wild turkey. All turkeys have a varied diet and seek out land that is a mixture of forest and open grassland.

What is a hen turkey?

Hens are female turkeys and toms are males. Toms are, on average, larger, so if you’re going for a turkey over 18 pounds, you’ll likely end up with a tom, whereas if you’re looking for a turkey 14 pounds or under, you’re likely to buy a hen. Other than size, there isn’t a real difference.

How can you tell the difference between wild turkeys?

Males, called toms or gobblers, are much larger than females. Males boast dark iridescent plumage; large, fanning tails; prominent snoods; and wattles. They make gobbles and other mating calls. Females, or hens, are smaller, with duller plumage and less prominent features.

What is the best tasting breed of turkey?

Bourbon Reds

Bourbon Red turkeys are very attractive birds for their beautiful red plumage. They are also known and popular for a full flavor, delicious meat and are considered as one of the best tasting heritage turkey breeds.

What breed of turkey makes the best pet?

On the other hand, if you’re simply raising your birds to keep as pets, it might be better to focus on heritage turkeys – Standard Bronze, White Holland, Narragansett, Royal Palm, etc. These turkeys are known for their long, productive life span and slow growth rate.

What percentage of turkeys are albino?

Seeing an albino turkey would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience: It’s estimated that only 1 in 100,000 Wild Turkeys is albino. Their eye-catching plumage also puts them at greater risk of an early demise.

How long do turkeys live for?


How High Can turkeys fly?

However, they usually fly for short bursts, i.e., up to 55 mph. Even though wild turkeys are heavier in weight, they are agile and much faster than their domesticated counterparts. However, wild turkeys can fly as high as 400 meters (a quarter-mile) beneath the canopy top if left in open woodland or grassland.

What state has the most wild turkeys?

1. Missouri. Home to more than 317,000 Eastern turkeys, hunters harvested 47.603 of them. That’s more than any other state despite the fact that hunting ends at 1 p.m. daily.

What makes an Osceola turkey different?

The difference between an Osceola turkey and an eastern turkey is that Osceolas are much darker, have longer legs and usually weigh much less than a mature eastern gobbler. What distinguishes the Osceola gobbler from all the other tom turkeys is the white bands in their wings.

What kind of wild turkeys are in Florida?

Florida is home to two subspecies of wild turkey — the eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) and the Osceola or Florida wild turkey (M.g. osceola). The Florida wild turkey is best distinguished from the eastern subspecies, which it closely resembles, by the white barring on its wing feathers.

Are there turkeys in the Keys?

The birds were wiped out of their habitat in the pinelands in the early 20th century by development, logging, farming and hunting. In 2000, 29 turkeys were released in the park’s Long Pine Key area, a forested region that’s one of the few parts of the park with suitable habitat.

Where is the eastern wild turkey?

Eastern Wild Turkey Details & Location:

The Eastern Wild Turkey can be found in the forested or brushy regions of West Elizabeth, New Hanover and Lemoyne. As opportunistic omnivores, they can be found foraging for insects, seeds and grasses.

How much do Osceola turkeys weigh?

A mature male Eastern can reach as tall as four feet and weigh as much as 25 – 28 pounds. The hens are significantly slighter in build, weighing about 15 pounds at maximum, but most are much smaller than that.

What is a turkey gobbler?

What is a gobbler? A gobbler or tom turkey is a mature male bird. There will be shifts in physical appearance and behavior as they get older, but a gobbler is essentially a gobbler on its 2 year birthday.

Where are Osceola turkeys located?

The Osceola Wild Turkey is also known as the Florida Turkey and can only be found on the Florida Peninsula. The Turkey was named after the famous Seminole Chief Osceola in 1890. Most Osceola turkeys are concentrated in the middle of the state. Hunters prize the Osceola Turkey due to its limited range and distribution.

What eats wild turkeys?

Wild turkeys are prey to a long list of predators including coyotes, bobcats, foxes, fisher, weasels, skunks, opossum, raccoons, snakes, hawks, owls, domestic dogs, and humans.

What is the difference between a Merriam and Rio Grande turkey?

Pretty hard to tell the difference. Generally the Merriam’s are goping to have a more white color on the ends of their tail feathers. Rio’s will be more tan.

Do female turkeys have beards?

Rarely, toms have multiple beards, which are aligned vertically along the breast, with the longest beards on the bottom and getting smaller as they go up. Some, but not all, female turkeys also grow beards, though they top out at about 6 or 7 inches.

Where do turkeys sleep at night?

Although turkeys spend most of their time on the ground during the day, they sleep in trees at night. Turkeys cannot see well in the dark. Sleeping in trees provides protection from predators that roam and can see at night. They fly up to roost at dusk, and fly down at dawn to begin their daily rituals.

Why are turkeys called rafters?

Its because of their perching behavior

According to some weak sources, group of turkeys are called a rafter of turkeys because of their habit of perching on construction rafters to roost or seek shelter from predators during the early days of European occupation of North America.

Can turkeys see color?

James G. Dickson, wild turkeys have flattened corneas and can see colors to some degree. Their eyes are located on the side of their head, meaning they have monocular, periscopic vision.

How do I know if my turkey is Tom?

Difference Between Male and Female Turkey

Are all turkeys black?

Turkeys are dark overall with a bronze-green iridescence to most of their plumage. Their wings are dark, boldly barred with white. Their rump and tail feathers are broadly tipped with rusty or white. The bare skin of the head and neck varies from red to blue to gray.

How rare is a red phase turkey?

Some researchers estimate that it’s present in 1 in 50,000 wild turkeys. It’s basically the opposite of albinism, which creates all white birds and is slightly rarer. “Erythristic,” or red-colored turkeys, are also very uncommon.

What is the biggest wild turkey ever killed?

— The National Wild Turkey Federation has certified the largest turkey killed on record. The gobbler, 37.6 pounds, was shot with a firearm by David Guess of Lyon County, Kentucky, on April 21. The previous record turkey, 37.1 pounds, was killed in 2002 in Oregon.

Why is turkey hunting so hard?

Their keen eyesight makes up for their lack of smell and they can detect even the slightest amount of movement, so hunting them is challenging. We encourage you to learn all you can before hitting the woods to begin your turkey hunting adventures – a safe and successful hunt depends on it.

What state has the best turkey hunting?

Tennessee is at the top of many turkey hunters’ lists, mostly because it’s a beautiful state with liberal limits, lots of public land, and accessible to most anyone in the eastern half of the US. Hunters get up to three turkey tags per season and there’s about a quarter of a million Easterns to chase.

Are fresh turkeys ever frozen?

Fresh turkeys are never frozen. Thaw your turkey 1 to 3 days in advance of cooking. Thaw the turkey in your kitchen sink with COLD WATER in the original packaging. NEVER let the turkey get WARM.

Are fresh turkeys previously frozen?

A turkey is considered “fresh” only if it has never been chilled below 26°F to assure consumers that the turkey they buy has never been frozen. Turkeys chilled at 0°F must be labeled “frozen.” If a turkey is stored between the 25°F – 1°F, it may or may not be labeled “previously frozen.”

What is an old turkey called?


YearlingA 12 month old turkey is called a yearling and the meat and skin are still reasonably tender, but not as tender as a young turkey.
Mature or OldA mature turkey is 15 months or older and is not well suited for roasting because the meat is much tougher.