Lexicon

Wild Turkey

The Turkey may have received its name because when it is afraid, it makes a call which sounds like "turk-turk-turk". The Native American name for the bird was firkee. The wild turkey is native to Northern Mexico and the Eastern United States.

Wild Turkey

Native Americans hunted wild turkey for its meat as early as 1000 A.D. and would use the entire bird in everyday life. For example, they would make turkey "callers" out of turkey wing bones. They would use turkey feathers to decorate ceremonial clothing. Of most importance, the spurs on the legs of wild turkeys were often used on arrowheads while using the feathers to stablize the arrows. Wild turkey also became a source of food for the early American settlers and nearly disappeared in the early 1900s because of deforestation and overhunting.

 Turkey tracksTurkeys are knows for their swift running and flying ability. Turkeys can reach land speeds of over 18 mph and glide for a mile without flapping their wings. In the air, a turkey can exceed 55 mph for short distances. The male turkey is called a tom or gobbler. The female turkey is called a hen. Baby turkeys are called poults.

 As male turkeys mature, they become aggressive with other males and will spar quite a bit. They are dangerously quick and have been known to attack people who come to close. Although they have excellent hearing and can see slight movement from almost a hundred yards away, turkeys have very poor night vision.