If a tom turkey is ready to fight, his head turns red. Turkeys are good fighters, and they defend their territory fiercely. Toms have sharp beaks, talons, and spurs, and they know how to use these weapons. Turkeys will even attack humans if they feel threatened by them. But mostly turkeys stay undercover and blend in with the trees and stuff. They are very wary of the smallest sound or movement, and they will fly away if they think something is wrong. So for this reason it is very hard to find a turkey to shoot, if you are hunting. Which may be why most people just go to the grocery store to find one.
|How is a girl to choose?|
Turkeys like to live in an open woodland or savannah, and then they fly up to perches in the trees. They fly much better than you might think, but they usually fly close to the ground, and they don't fly for more than about a quarter of a mile. Turkeys eat stuff like acorns, nuts, seeds, berries, roots, and insects. Sometimes they will also eat amphibians, lizards, and small snakes.
March and April are the months when the turkeys start their courtship. Besides gobbling and making other sexy sounds, the toms also puff out their feathers and spread their tails and drag their wings. This is called "strutting." As they get more and more excited, their heads change color from red to blue to white.
Lots of animals like to eat turkey eggs and poults, including raccoons, opossums, skunks, gray foxes, groundhogs, and snakes. The adults might get eaten by coyotes, bobcats, cougars, golden eagles, great horned owls, dogs, and red foxes. But the biggest predator of all is humans.
|Where wild turkeys lived back in 1758|
It is possible that Mr. Franklin was just pretending to be offended that the eagle was chosen and not the turkey. There is no record that he ever actually told Congress that he thought the turkey should be the symbol of America, so maybe he was just making a joke to amuse his daughter.
Most domestic turkeys can't fly because they have been bred to have big breast muscles. They are not as smart as their wild cousins, but they are not totally stupid either.
Anyway, now that you know all about turkeys, you should go and eat your Thanksgiving dinner. Mom is going out for dinner, but I told her to be sure to bring home a big doggy bag full of turkey for us dogs!