|Title: Eastern Wild Turkey, Alternative Title: (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris), Creator: Stolz, Gary M., Source: WO8479-002, Publisher: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Contributor: DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.|
Like other birds of the family Phasianidae, eastern wild turkeys are equipped with long, thick legs, large toes for walking and scratching, and a relatively short bill. Wild turkeys are unmistakable in their appearance. Males have dark iridescent plumage, bare heads and necks with blue and pink streaks, fan-shaped tails tipped with chestnut, and black-barred flight feathers.
Male turkeys (gobblers) also have spurs and a "beard," a tuft of thick, hair-like feathers that protrude out of the animal's breast. Female turkeys look much like their counterparts but lack the spurs, and most do not have a "beard." The eastern wild turkey is North America's largest gamebird. Adults weigh between 5.5-11 kilograms (12-25 pounds) and can reach a length of 91 cm (36 inches) for females to 122 cm (48 inches) for males. Wild turkeys differ from domestic turkeys in that they are less stocky and the head is more tinged with blue.
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TEXT CREDIT: NOAA Coastal Services Center The NOAA Coastal Services Center is an office within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration devoted to serving the nation's state and local coastal resource management programs
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