When we think of Thanksgiving we think about turkeys. But turkeys aren’t just for Thanksgiving. They are an interesting species of birds. Check out these fun turkey facts for kids!
What is a turkey?
A turkey is a large bird native to North America. They are mostly domesticated but also live in the wild. There are two different species of turkeys the wild turkey and the ocellated turkey.
There are five subspecies of wild turkeys: Eastern Wild Turkey, Osceola (Florida) Wild Turkey, Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Merriam’s Wild Turkey, and Gould’s Wild Turkey.
Wild Turkeys live across North America.
Wild Turkeys spend their days looking for and eating food such as acorns, seeds, small insects, berries, and fruits.
Wild Turkeys live in open forests. They sleep in trees.
Ocellated Turkeys live in South Eastern Mexico, Northern Belize, and Northern Guatemala.
What is the Difference between Wild Turkeys and Ocellated Turkeys?
It is easy to tell the difference between Wild Turkeys and Ocellated Turkeys.
Ocellated Turkeys have a mixture of bronze, green and blue feathers, similar to a peacock.
Wild Turkeys have mostly brown feathers.
Ocellated Turkeys are smaller and also weigh less than Wild Turkeys.
What do Turkeys Look Like?
Parts of a turkey
- Wattle- The flap of the skin under the turkey chin. It is reddish in color. The wattle turns bright red when a turkey anxious or worried and when he is attracting a mate.
- Spur- A spike above each foot.
- Carbuncle – Reddish growth on a turkey head and upper neck
- Tail Fan – Long feathers behind the turkey
- Beards- A bundle of long feathers on turkeys chest
- Bill – Hard, sharp beak
Can Turkeys Fly?
The answer to this question is yes, well sometimes. Wild turkeys can fly. Domesticated turkeys ( turkeys that live on farms) usually can’t fly. This is because they are usually too heavy to fly.
Fun Facts About Turkeys
A male turkey is called a Tom or gobbler.
A female turkey is called a hen.
A baby turkey is called a poult or sometimes a chick.
A group of turkeys is called a flock.
Male turkeys weigh between 8-24 pounds and are about 4ft long.
Female turkeys weigh between 7-16 pounds and are about 3ft long.
Adult turkeys have around 3,500 feathers.
Only male turkeys can gobble.
Turkeys can run up to 25 miles per hour.
Predators to a turkey are snakes, raccoons, wildcats, and humans.
What do Turkeys Eat?
Turkeys are omnivores meaning they eat both plants and animals.
Turkeys eat nuts, seeds, fruits, berries, insects, small reptiles, and amphibians.
Hens can lay between 6-18 eggs. On average they lay 12 eggs.
The eggs take about one month to hatch.
Baby turkeys cannot fly for two weeks.
- Adult turkeys have around 3,500 feathers.
- Only male turkeys can gobble.
- Turkeys can run up to 25 miles per hour.
- Predators to a turkey are snakes, raccoons, wildcats, and humans.
Turkey is a popular dish served on holidays including Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Over 90% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
Turkey has more protein than beef or chicken.
There is no way to prove that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving.
The national bird in America is the bald eagle but did you know it was almost a turkey? It’s true!
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be America’s national bird. However, he was outvoted and the eagle became the national bird.