Gobble, Gobble! Five Fascinating Facts About Turkeys

Impress the family during your Thanksgiving meal with these unusual facts.

 

You probably don't spend much time thinking about turkeys...except for how much gravy to add. But these simple birds are actually more complex than you think. Check out these facts and impress your friends and family during Thanksgiving. 

Wild turkeys can fly

Because turkeys look so big and awkward, you wouldn't expect to see them soaring in the air. But on short flights, a wild turkey can fly about 55 miles per hour. Domestic turkeys can't fly because they are too heavy after being fattened up over generations for food. 

Poop tells if they are male or female 

Examining a turkey's droppings can tell you if a male or a female bird passed through the area. The feces of males are J-shaped. Female droppings, on the other hand, look more like a spiral.

Wild turkeys can get up trees

Turkeys in the wild prefer to sleep-up in a tree, because their eyesight is so poor, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Turkeys roost at dusk and return to the ground at sunrise. 

Male turkey heads change color

Males have almost no feathers on their heads, but colors can change between red, white and blue — sometimes within seconds, according to the National Wild Turkey Federation. 

Only males gobble

Each turkey has a unique gobbler that he uses to attract females during breeding season. Female turkeys make sounds like chirps and clucks.

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