Talk:Wild turkey

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Wild baby Turkeys do not take flight in the sense that they are capable flyers. Any reputable hunting site gives good information on how to track a turkey in "flight", "glide", or "wing assisted jump" some even adapted the name "Turkey arch" to describe what it is they are doing. The average turkey fly at speeds of 55mph for around 10 seconds, to get about half mile distance with glide time, most of the energy was from the push of their legs, and when they "fly" to their tree roost; they stand althogh to the tre and merely jump up to the rooster gobbles-- (talk) 17:52, 14 April 2016 (UTC)-- (talk) 17:52, 14 April 2016 (UTC) using their wings to assist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Distribution map[edit]

The map seems to be quite off. I've seen wild turkeys all over Southern Quebec and Ontario. Prince Edward County, Hastings County in Ontario, and Pontiac in Quebec. These are not one offs either, but repetitive sightings. These are rural areas, and since I am seeing them while simply driving around, one would think that areas which are free from humans (ie where there are not roads) might show even higher concentrations of wild turkeys.

Does anyone know where the distribution map comes from?

I did find this:

It does indicate breeding in Ontario.

Also, this:

So, it seems the birds had some help. Regardless of help or not, they're here now -- and doing great. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

I've noticed this as well. Besides the distribution map being inconsistent with my personal anecdotal experience of having seen *hundreds* of wild turkeys all throughout Oregon, it also seems to explicitly disagree with the subsequent section detailing the distribution of the various subspecies (which itself seems to be limited / inaccurate ). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:59, 5 April 2013 (UTC)


You should have a section on what kind of animals prey on wild turkeys (talk) 06:56, 4 November 2008 (UTC)eric

I moved the image of the domesticated turkey to Turkey (domesticated) jimfbleak 05:55, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I believe that it is a wild turkey, albeit one that lives in a domesticated setting. The females looked like the female on this page and not like the ones on the domesticated turkey page. Lupin 10:13, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I'm not convinced - domesticated turkeys come in all sorts of colours, and until recently most were quite similar to Wild Turkey.
I looked at the plates in Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse by Madge and McGowan, ISBN 0-7136-3966-0, and a couple of things didn't seem quite right.The lower tail seems to be darker than the outer tail, should be paler and rufous. The breast seems bluish, but this may just be a trick of the light. Isn't it more likely to be a domesticated bird than a captive Wild Turkey? jimfbleak 16:38, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Well I don't really know - I'm going on a hazy recollection of a sign claiming it was a North American Turkey (or something like that). I'm happy to cede to your expertise. Lupin 22:40, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
My "expertise" in this area is a little dubious - I live in the wrong hemisphere for a start, and I've only seen Wild Turkey once, in Florida. If it was in a zoo or similar collection, you could well be right anyway. jimfbleak 05:23, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The picture looks exactly like a wild turkey. While it is difficult to know the difference by a picture, I think we should follow the original poster's (Lupin) thoughts since he knows the context from which it came. See this link for some other differences between domestic and wild. For what it's worth, I've seen many in the wild and the pic looks like a wild one. Liblamb 03:16, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Speaking as one who lives in the Northeast US, I can back up what liblamb has to say. Jimfbleak, you probably saw the Osceola turkey in Florida. They look a little different than the others as being a little lankier and smaller than the eastern turkey and both have darker tail feathers than the one I think you're describing, Merriam's turkey (lives in the Rockies and California; was the photographer based in San Francisco or L.A. by chance? Was this an illustration?)

As for the other feathers. fear not: wild turkeys really don't photograph well in terms of the colors in the rest of their feathers. They are actually quite pretty, quite irridescent, like dishwashing liquid on a black surface. I often see them near my mother's home in SE Massachusetts roosting in the trees (or running away from a mad artist trying to draw them) and swooping about the wild berry patches like an all-you-can-eat buffet. It is amazing how well they've recovered: when I was a child seventeen years ago you never saw them. Now they are everywhere.

image conflict[edit]

I don't know which image the above discussion is referencing, but the photo labeled "Male mating display" also currently appears as the lead image on the Domesticated turkey page. It should be removed from one of these articles, depending on which type of turkey it actually is. I'm not a turkey expert so I don't know. El Mariachi (talk) 02:52, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Fine, I'll remove it from this page since it's the lead image on Domesticated Turkey and only a supplementary one here. I'm guessing turkey experts wouldn't let a picture of a wild turkey stand as the lead image on the wrong page. El Mariachi (talk) 04:46, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

more images[edit]

I removed an image titled for male and female Wild Turkey, since it appears to show two males, and they are apparently domestic or escaped birds, since one is white, and the other appears to be of the widely introduced SW form merriami. jimfbleak 07:18, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)


I can kinda read into it that "harvest" is "hunting" though it kinda also makes me think there are "wild turkey farms", which is an oxymoron, which leads me back to "harvest means hunting", though sometimes I'd rather not have to be Sherlock Holmes to understand an encyclopedia. So anyway. Are all the states using lotteries to limit the taking of WT's, or just some of them? And isn't a hunting-license lottery rather more common than a come-and-get-it approach? Blair P. Houghton 20:17, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There is some variation between states as to when and how wild turkeys can be hunted in the U.S., but there are indeed limits. First, most states have a season (usu. some time in the spring or fall) when the birds can be taken, and it only lasts a few weeks at very most (some states, like New York, have so many birds they can have two seasons.) It is illegal and generally frowned upon to make a kill out of season. Second, in areas where the bird is less plentiful, a lottery or permit system is much more likely if hunting of the bird is permitted at all. For example, Arizona doesn't allow the hunting of Gould's wild turkey, the subspecies native to the southeastern chunk of the state, and strictly limits the amount of permits it gives out for m.g. merriami. Third, most states have restrictions on how the birds can be hunted, if bowhunting is allowed or dogs and so on. It is NEVER a free for all.shadowcat60


I should like to see more information on what sort of behavior makes wild turkeys so cunning.


This articel states that Ben's preference for the turkey was satire, however the bald eagle repeats it as being true. Not actually knowing which, I just added the contradict tag. 20:16, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Did some looking and according to the us dept of veterans affairs Franklin wanted the turkey as the national bird. Don't trust them either though, so I just copied the Franklin article into this letter, pointed out a few things about, and will let the reader decide. The letter is real, the interpretation varies. Jerdwyer

As for Franklin's attitude, perhaps it should be described as facetious rather than satirical, but no doubt it was clever, deadpan, amusing, and definitively Franklinesque. As for what he wanted, he got it: notoriety.

But speaking of contradiction, hasn't anybody spotted it in the opening sentences? "The Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the Galliformes. It is one of two species of turkey, the other being the Ocellated Turkey, found in Central and South America. Adult Wild Turkeys have a small, featherless, reddish head...."

Aren't ocellated turkeys (Agriocharis ocellata, according to /Random House Unabridged/) wild? Aren't they turkeys?

(Part of the problem, perhaps, comes from confusing common nouns with proper nouns. We don't capitalize "laughing hyenas" or "raving lunatics". Why capitalize wild turkeys?)

Every wild turkey, I contend, is a wild turkey, regardless of species. Granted, that when referring to wild turkeys, we aren't usually referring to domestic turkeys which have abandoned their festive vocations for the sake of longevity, and that in this article we are using "wild turkey" as a vulgar name for species known to the cognoscenti in glorious Latin, but discussing wild turkeys as if there were one species, then stating that there are two species, is not amusing. Benjamin F. would not approve. The article ought to be changed (split, disambiguated, redirected -- I'm not sure what) to discriminate the species commonly, or not so commonly, granted the exalted title of "turkey." Unfree (talk) 09:30, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Birds, as a taxonomic group, are unusual in that ornithologists have created a list of official English common names for all species. {see Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of life#Article titles and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (fauna)) That is why the common names of living bird species are fully capitalized in Wikipedia, while the common names of all other (animal) species should be capitalized only on the first word of the name. That also means that we use the English common name for the titles of articles about living bird species. -- Donald Albury 12:27, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone explain what Franklin means by "the Cincinnati of America"??? It looks like a vandalism of "Citizens of America", but it exists in the sources too! What the heck does that mean? --Bmk 00:38, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I think refers to Cincinnatus, probably using "Cincinnati", the plural, as a a term for good citizens. jimfbleak 06:22, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Huh - could be so. I've never run into that term before. Thanks! --Bmk 07:01, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
See Society of the Cincinnati. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 22:52, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Is the wild turkey really American?[edit]

I think I read once that Coronado brought the turkey to this hemisphere...true? 17:25, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

There's a nice summary of the turkey's origins here. -- Donald Albury 18:50, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

New Mexico Range for Rio Grande and Merriam's not included[edit]

I am Including a quote from New Mexico Department of Game and Fish “Long-Range Plan for the Management of Wild Turkey in New Mexico 2001-2005” by Larry Kamees, Wildlife Specialist, Division of Wildlife, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Santa Fe, NM, October 2002.

New Mexico is home to three of the five currently recognized North American subspecies of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo). The Merriam’s turkey (M. g. merriami) is typically associated with areas of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). The Rio Grande turkey (M. g. intermedia) principally occupies riparian areas in the northeast, central, and south-central portions of the state. The Gould’s turkey (M. g. mexicana) is confined to the woodland-savanna habitat in the Peloncillo and Animas Mountains of southwest New Mexico. The Gould’s turkey is a state-listed endangered species due to the vulnerability of small and localized populations to several identified threats. 07:00, 16 February 2007 (UTC) dgillmor

No Nominate Subspecies?[edit]

There isn't a nominate species of Wild Turkey? Frankyboy5 03:06, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

New Zealand Wild Turkey[edit]

There are large populations of Wild Turkey in the mountains of New Zealand. Many hunting websites claim they are so plentiful in New Zealand that they are a big attraction for hunting tourists. Are there Turkeys gone wild anywhere else in the world? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:29, August 22, 2007 (UTC)

There are small populations on some Australian islands, like King Island, but they are not very plentiful. Frickeg 02:55, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Merger suggestion[edit]

Turkey calls should remain a separate article. I'm removing the 7 month old suggestion of a merger that hasn't been taken up. Gene Nygaard (talk) 05:46, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Asexual Turkeys???[edit]

In the trivia section, it says that female turkeys can reproduce asexually without a tom. The source appears ligitimate in all except for the fact that it is not loading. Can anyone confirm this? Rufous-crowned Sparrow (talk) 18:35, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

The page loads: it states that turkeys sometimes lay unfertilized eggs in a report on failed embryos. This trivia item seems to be incorrect and should be deleted. (talk) 03:14, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Ah, but there are other links supporting parthenogenesis in turkeys. I'll add them to the article. -- Donald Albury 13:07, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
On second thought, the references probably refer to domesticated turkeys, so I deleted the trivia item until someone finds a source that says wild turkeys exhibit parthenogenesis. -- Donald Albury 13:11, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Lone female[edit]

We've had a female wandering around alone in our woods for the past 5 weeks up here in northwest NJ. We live by a lake and she wanders from house to house foraging in the leaves, and she's not afraid of us, she keeps her distance, though. Is this normal for her to be alone? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kfboys (talkcontribs) 11:55, 10 May 2008 (UTC) Sometimes a wild turkey becomes isolated from a flock. The Rio Grande turkey is gregarious, as the article reports. The same is true for birds re-introduced in California. The article doesn't seem to have similar comments for other groups.Fconaway (talk) 19:43, 16 May 2015 (UTC)


in the article on the Osceola turkey, why has somone changed the text about Osceola to "fighter" from "chief" of the Seminoles? Carlw4514 (talk) 19:29, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Since I just changed this again, I'll explain. Osceola was never a "chief". Chiefs in the Seminoles were chosen from a particular clan lineage. Osceola was not eligible to be a chief. He was a charismatic and brave leader, and a number of Seminoles followed him in war, but that did not make him a chief. -- Donald Albury 12:23, 24 November 2011 (UTC)


I think I read the article carefully enough to say that it's very odd that not a word is in there about why this bird is named "turkey" in English. Am I wrong? Happy Thanksgiving anyway! SergeWoodzing (talk) 12:06, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Found it under Turkey (bird). SergeWoodzing (talk) 12:11, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Wild Boom state[edit]

Missouri and Illinois are rapidly having a growing wild turkey population as close to White-tailed deer.-- (talk) 15:51, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Consensus is against changing the capitalisation and I would echo the comments which suggest that downcasing one at a time via RM would not be a productive use of anyone's time. No prejudice against starting a new discussion which discusses only the primary topic-ness, an issue which got lost in the capitalisation hubbub. Jenks24 (talk) 09:07, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Wild TurkeyWild turkey (bird) – The current article name violates WP:CAPS / WP:LOWERCASE by having its second word capitalized. Moreover, the current article title generates confusion with respect to Wild Turkey (bourbon), which uses caps because it is a brand name. Currently, Wild Turkey gets about three times as many page views as Wild Turkey (bourbon). That may or may not be enough to legitimately call the page about the bird the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, but I suspect not - since its number of page views may be inflated by the fact that the current name leads to the bird article rather than the dab page. I notice that the top link returned by both Google and Bing in a search for "Wild Turkey" is actually for the bourbon. –BarrelProof (talk) 04:27, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose
  • move to lower case violates the long-established and agreed convention for capitalisation at WikiProject Birds
  • move to lower case would make it the only one of ca 9000 bird species' articles to be lower case
  • move to Wild turkey (bird) flies in the face of your own evidence, the bird gets three times as many hits, the bourbon is named after the bird, not the other way round, and the suggestion that people are "really" looking for the bourbon is both self-serving and US-centric — I've never heard of the bourbon.
  • Top search finds the (presumably) heavily promoted commercial project rather than biological articles about a bird restricted to parts of North America — who would have thought it? Perhaps we should make The Famous Grouse whisky the primary article for grouse?
Jimfbleak - talk to me? 05:48, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose (sorry), Jim says it all in a nutshell. Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:47, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
But requesting a move of one article at a time is no way to change the capitalisation procedure. And the redirect from the current name would prevent the bourbon becoming the primary topic, even if it really was. Jimfbleak - talk to me? 17:08, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Suggestion: In other move discussions, I have been told that a page view ratio around 3 is not sufficient to consider something the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. This seems especially true when one of the articles is already occupying the primary topic name (which would tend to somewhat inflate its viewing count). I suggest that what should be done at this point is to rename the article to Wild Turkey (bird) and turn both Wild Turkey and Wild turkey into redirects to Wild Turkey (disambiguation). It is simple to change the destination of a redirect article. I was not previously aware that bird articles generally do not follow the WP:TITLEFORMAT policy. Perhaps somewhere there should be a wider discussion of that question. –BarrelProof (talk) 18:06, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Question to Jimfbleak: I notice that you put a note about this discussion on the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Birds page, referring to it as "Round 274" (which seems like it borders on advocacy, but I'll let that slide). Can you help identify where to find some of the prior discussions that your comment seems to refer to? –BarrelProof (talk) 18:26, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Never mind that request – I found some of the discussions in archives of the birds project page, and found some of the outcome mentioned in WP:FNAME, WP:CAPS and WP:Naming conventions (birds) (although what I have found so far seems to be just among people who assume the rationale is known already). The common names for birds seems to be the biggest exception to WP:CAPS / WP:LOWERCASE on Wikipedia. I'll try to study why. Meanwhile, I think renaming to Wild Turkey (bird) for clarity and directing Wild Turkey to the dab page is the right thing to do. –BarrelProof (talk) 21:45, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Style guides for ornithological works, including the one(s) deemed most authoritative, tend to prescribe capitalization, and some feel that we should adopt that style even if it means piecemeal style across Wikipedia. Most reliable sources don't, of course, but the most-highly regarded birding works do, apparently (I haven't checked). It's quite a conundrum. There might be some other reasons put forward, but I think this is the main one. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 23:21, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the reasons given above as well as the fact that they didn't name the bird after the drink. And Wild turkey (bird) should be made a redirect to Wild Turkey μηδείς (talk) 18:19, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think the other animals should follow the bird lead. Actually that has already been suggested for reptiles and is being practiced for butterflies. Dger (talk) 21:30, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support caps, but it should probably just move to wild turkey; I think it might be the primary topic. I wouldn't object to moving it to Wild turkey (bird) as an experiment, though. The phrase "wild turkey" when referring to the bird is not a proper name, of course. Now, there might be other reasons to capitalize, but in this case I think they're pretty thin. People don't write animal species in caps normally; eg "I saw a lion at the zoo." Why should birds be any different? Most reliable sources don't capitalize bird names in general, nor "wild turkey" in particular. The first 6 pages of Google Scholar results for "Wild Turkey" appear to contain 0 results that capitalize in running text. I'm open to being educated in how to interpret that, certainly, but for now I'll support this move proposal. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 23:21, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It goes against both the WP Birds standard and a well accepted convention. Maias (talk) 00:25, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Indifferent to entire capitalization discussion. Only interest is to stay consistent for all articles throught Wikiproject Bird. Given that, prefer to stick with current Wikiproject Bird rules, unless someone wants to design a bot to change all articles (including hyphenated ones) and agreement is reached with Wikiproject Bird members.....Pvmoutside (talk) 00:33, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – according to Turkey (bird), Wild Turkey is a species name; as long as we still have the bird species capitalization convention, we shouldn't be trying to downcase birds one at a time. Dicklyon (talk) 00:48, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I certainly think that the bird, not the bourbon brand, is the primary topic. The all caps convention for birds has been established for at least 6 years on Wikipedia, and I see no reason to make this article an exception. -- Donald Albury 13:26, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • See The Capitalization of Birds' Names, a 1983 article in ornithological journal The Auk. All ornithological sources capitalize the names, but all other sources don't capitalize them. Right now, wikipedia follows the ornithological sources. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:55, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Accuracy of map[edit]

The accuracy of the distribution map, [1], has already been questioned on this page. Addition questions about the accuracy on a reddit thread here, [2]. Like so many other maps used on Wikipedia this one provides no sources. The source field simply says "Own work". This would be unacceptable for the text of an article on Wikipedia. It should be unacceptable for maps like this too. Pfly (talk) 08:22, 30 November 2013 (UTC)