Thirty Amazing Turkey Facts

Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird of the United States instead of the bald eagle

Domestic turkeys (turkeys raised for eating) weigh twice the amount of a wild turkey; most are even too heavy to fly.

On the other hand, wild turkeys fly and spend their nights in the low branches of trees.

Wild turkeys are the largest game birds located in this part of the world.

Male wild turkeys act much the same as peacocks when it comes to finding a mate; they puff up and spread their tail feathers to attract females.

Turkey eggs are tan with specks of brown on them. The eggs take only a month to hatch and when they do, the poults (baby turkeys) stay with their mother for up to a year.

The skin on the head and throat of a turkey can range in color from gray to a bright red depending upon the level of excitement or stress in the situation.

The turkey acquired its name by mistake; the English thought it was another bird that came from Africa through Turkey. The birds were not the same but the name stuck with the bird anyway.

The skin that hangs over the turkey’s beak is called a snood.

The skin that hangs from the turkey’s throat is called a caruncle.

The scientific name for a turkey is Meleagris gallopavo.

Turkeys can have heart attacks and can drown if it’s raining and they look up.

A wild turkey’s field of vision is about 270 degrees.

Turkeys can run up to 20 miles an hour with short flight bursts up to 55 miles per hour.

Male turkeys gobble while female turkeys make a clicking sound.

The biggest turkey ever raised weighed a whopping 86 pounds!

Adult turkeys have about 5,000 feathers.

Over 45 million turkeys are cooked for Thanksgiving.

North Carolina produces the most turkeys annually at 61 million.

Most domestic turkeys love to have their feathers stroked.

Wild turkeys live to up 12 years while the domestic turkey is slaughtered at 5 months.

Turkeys have full color vision.

A turkey’s gobble can be heard up to a mile away.

The ballroom dance called “the turkey trot” was named after the movements of a turkey.

Wild turkeys inhabit every state but Alaska.

National turkey lover’s month is June.

There are five subspecies of wild turkey in North America.

Turkeys see poorly at night.

The turkey is a type of pheasant.

Turkey’s have no external ears but have great hearing.

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