Eastern Wild Turkeys

While recently exploring the remote “Neck District” areas of Dorchester County, one bird sighting that we seen often were Eastern Wild Turkeys.  A couple dozen would be foraging along tree lines.  Quite skittish, they would run into the woods at the sight and sound of a vehicle.  The males would ensure the females were safe before they too would follow.

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Eastern Wild Turkey, male

 

We luckily happened upon a dozen or so Wild Turkeys alongside the road.  I saw several poults as they and their Mommas were scattering into the tall grass.  I got lucky with one capture of a poult who was hiding and watching.  Momma was just behind in the grass.

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Wild Turkey, Poult

 

Again as before, the females quickly disappeared into the tall grasses and woods while the males hung back.  This was the last male to retreat.

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Eastern Wild Turkey, male

 

He just strolled along, in no hurry, which was great for me.

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Eastern Wild Turkey, male

 

 

I quicky zoomed in for this final close-up shot as he headed into the shade and woods.

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Eastern Wild Turkey, male

 

From southern Canada to southern Mexico, there are actually six species of Wild Turkey:

– Eastern Wild Turkey (the species our pilgrims first encountered)
– Rio Grande Wild Turkey
– Merriam’s Wild Turkey
– Osceola or Florida Wild Turkey
– Gould’s Wild Turkey
– South Mexican Wild Turkey

Cool Fact:  Not only do Wild Turkeys fly, but they can at high speeds.  There have been recorded flights of up to 55 miles per hour.  Can you see a Wild Turkey flying alongside your vehicle, keeping up with you at that speed??  Mercy!!

 

37 thoughts on “Eastern Wild Turkeys

  1. They are quite colourful. Are these the same ones that have the crown of feathers at the back that they display, or are they a different species? Don’t get to see them often, glad they are still around.

    • You must be talking about another species, maybe? Turkeys’ heads are featherless year-round. There are over approx. five million Wild Turkeys in the U.S. After a big comeback in populations, my understanding is the last couple years has seen a decline in the population, mostly from lost of habitat.

  2. Oh how wonderful! I haven’t seen turkeys in a while, I adore them. Also loved Illumination in the Flatwoods by Joe Hutto, which inspired the documentary, “My Life As A Turkey.” Great photos, Donna! Thank you for the post. 🙂

  3. I’ve never seen the eastern version before. When we first returned to Montana the wild turkeys here were just starting a recovery process and now, 25 years later, they are plentiful. For the last week or so three hens with nine young (now about the size of grouse) have been visiting my place quite often. They are amazing birds and have a large vocabulary, some of which I understand.

    • Thank you Ashley! I’ve seen and photographed Wild Turkeys at a distance for years. This was my fist encounter to get so near for nice close-ups, it was pretty cool. 🙂

    • Thank you Jerry, they are quite pretty! The lighting, well if you could have seen the scene of me telling my husband, “pull up, no back up, ok, there, no pull up, he moved out of the sun….” LOL

  4. Great pictures, Donna! And I never even knew a turkey could fly – not sure I’ve ever seen pictures of them in flight. Thanks for sharing — and we missed you at the KIFA photo reception tonight. I hope you are feeling better soon!

    • Thank you Susan, I am sorry I could not make the KIFA reception last night. Congrats on your win! I have seen a turkey fly once, OMGosh, going up Rt 301, it came from the opposite side of the trees and fly right across the dual highway in front of my car and into a tree. I couldn’t believe I saw one fly! Thank goodness I didn’t hit him, that’d be one heck of an impact.

  5. Hmmm… you have me wondering which species we have around here. I’m obviously too lazy to look it up at the moment. They’re almost as prehistoric looking as the buzzards. Great shots showing off their lovely color!

  6. Great post and images Donna. I love seeing the wild turkeys … we have the Merriam’s species here. I love watching the males puff up there chests in breeding season. They strut around just like body builders at the gym!

  7. Pingback: Sika Deer and White-tailed Deer | Photos by Donna

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