Wild Turkey, MG-9441

Most common in the Florida peninsula, they number from 80,000 to 100,000 birds. This bird is named for the famous Seminole leader Osceola, and was first described in 1890. It is smaller and darker than the eastern wild turkey. The wing feathers are very dark with smaller amounts of the white barring seen on other subspecies. Their overall body feathers are an irridescent green-purple color. They are often found in scrub patches of palmetto and occasionally near swamps, where amphibian prey is abundant. Osceola turkeys are the smallest subspecies weighing 16 to 18 pounds.

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When threatened, male turkeys make use of the spurs on their back of the legs as a weapon. as seen in the picture below.  Those spurs can reach up and beyond 2 inches in length.  A distinguishing feature of both domesticated and wild turkeys is the black fibrous hairs that hang down from the chest away from the body plumage. The beard of a turkey is a curious oddity. Actually, it is not a beard or hair at all. It is a modified feather that forms kind of a stiff bristle.  One learns new stuffs every day.  I always thought these were real tick hair.  Go figure…

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