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"You can usually tell the difference between an adult male and a juvenile male (a jake) turkey by looking at a turkey's tail: All tail feathers of adult males are the same length. The feathers forming the center of a jake's tail are usually longer than the rest of the feathers in the tail."
Quoting: Rio Grande (M. g. intermedia)
Ranges through Texas to Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, and Central and Western California, as well as parts of a few northeastern states. Rio Grande turkeys were also introduced to Hawaii in the late 1950s. Population estimates for this subspecies range from 1,022,700 to 1,025,700. This sub-species is native to the central plain states. They were first described in 1879, and have disproportionately long legs. Their body feathers often have a green-coppery sheen to them. The tips of the tail and lowrer back feathers are a buff-very light tan color. Habitats are brush areas next to streams, rivers or mesquite pine and scrub oak forests. Only turkey to be found up to 6,000 feet in elevation and are gregarious.
Gould's (M. g. mexicana)
Native from central to northern Mexico and the southern-most parts of Arizona and New Mexico. Heavily protected and regulated. First described in 1856. They exist in small numbers but are abundant in Northwestern portions of Mexico. A small population has been established in southern Arizona. Gould's are the largest of the five sub-species. They have longer legs, larger feet, and longer tail feathers. The main color of the body feathers are copper and greenish-gold.
Ok, I enlarged the picture. (I have dial up and was just looking at the thumb nail)
The beard looks longer. You can also see the spurs on his legs. Looks like one of our wild turkeys. I am certianly no turkey expert, but I have seen a few around here.
Around here they do run quite a bit. Only see them flying up to a tree to roost. Hardly ever see them flying, except for short distances.
It is a male wild turkey commonly called a "Tom". A "jake" is a 1 yr old male, and the beard on a "jake" would look like a feather turned sideways. The one shown has spurs long enough to say that it is at least 2 maybe 3 yrs old. The way to tell the difference between a male and female wild turkey is the color of the head. A tom will have a red head whereas a hen will have a blue head. We do have "long-beard" hens around here and during turkey hunting time, they are as legal as the toms. Only turkeys with visible beards are legal to hunt during the spring hunt. I don't know about the fall hunt when they have them.
Wild turkeys do fly, although they don't like to exept when they get ready to roost at night. (like chickens) They will normally run if they can. Both toms and hens have long legs. If you ever have the 'pleasure' of hearing a turkey land in a tree, you will never forget it. You would think the whole top of the tree is going to come down.
There we go. A turkey expert.
Yes, I thought it was a jake, until I opened the picture and saw the spurs and beard length. It was a bigger turkey than I thought.
I love watching the toms in the spring when they fluff up and strut around. Their faces really turn colors then.
Thanks for letting me know a little about turkeys. I thought a jake was a young male. Now I know!
Yes. Turkey. We have flocks here all year round. They are very funny when crossing a blacktop street! They don't want to touch it so they skip flap over it. I've seen them land on roofs and cars. They roost in trees at night - can be very scary looking. The poults are adorable.
ABSOLUTELY...UNLESS it is a bearded lady it is a Tom Turkey. On occasion females do sport beards. This one appears to be an adult. Weight in the Northeast average is about fifteen pounds. Occasionally one is seen or harvested over twenty pounds. There are three or four different turkey breeds in America.
Turkeys are starting to bunch up and gobble round these parts. We rarely get to see them for more than a few seconds, but today they hung out on a ridge that we could see from our house. We watched them for about 10 minutes, an all time record I think. Too far away for pictures, sadly. Saw a Tom fanning his feathers--very cool but I was worried about him as he looked a bit injured with a feather (or something) hanging from his belly.
Normally, we just get to hear them a lot in the early morning. I was so surprised when we moved to the country and discovered leaving the bedroom windows open at night so we can wake up to the males gobbling. It only works in Spring during mating season, and the open windows wreak havoc with the DH's allergies. He likes the gobblers, too, though, so he puts up with it for as long as he can take it. The fact that we can't do it as much as we want makes it all the more special when we do, I guess.
A car load of guys traveled through our Pennsylvania mountains for a two and a half hour trip this past Thursday. It was perfect timing. We saw numerous birds along the way. In two fields the flock was showing a half dozen struttingToms and no less than thirty or forty hens. That was at dusk beyond the ability of any camera we had on board.
There is another time when such large flocks can be seen. When we are at the height of the summer insect explosion we sometimes see a whole field of turkey feeding in a competitive gobble up on grass hoppers. The little jakes are popping up out of the undercover like exploding popcorn. It is one of Mother Nature's all time best shows. Again twenty five to fifty are common. Anyone who says they counted them so and so is just plain full of baloney. No one really could do more than take a guess.
I have mentioned that our turkeys are getting "gobbled" up by preditors.
On one of my daily walks last week, I see where a single turkey walked over a half mile in and out of the trail.
It had very large tracks and you could also see the spur marks behind every track, where he walked on the trail. Where he walked in the deep snow he broke through the ice layer. He must be a nice one.
I put the trail camera out, hopefully I will see some of the wildlife that is not usually seen.