Be Your Own Birder

June is National Turkey Lover’s Month

You might automatically assume that November would be the best month to highlight turkeys, but June is actually National Turkey Lovers’ Month. While the intention of the month – designated by the National Turkey Federation – is to promote turkey as a healthy, economical meat ideal year-round instead of just at holiday periods, it is also a fine time to learn more about these amazing birds. Fortunately, there are many great ways to learn about turkeys!

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys – Photo by Scott Heron

You probably already known a bit about turkeys – their size, that they’re related to other game birds, that they’re unique to North America, that Ben Franklin once considered the turkey a better representative bird for the United States than the bald eagle. But do you know…

  • More about the wild turkey’s history, including how it was revered in ancient cultures, how it nearly went extinct and how many turkeys are trotting about today?
  • How different turkeys look, including different genders and ages, as well as turkeys in flight, roosting in trees and even the colorful ocellated turkey?
  • What sort of meal appeals to a wild turkey, including how their diet changes throughout the year and what how they forage for different morsels?
  • How many feathers a wild turkey has, how fast they can run, how long they live, where they live, when the first presidential turkeys were pardoned and other fun trivia?
  • What that fleshy, bobbly bit on a wild turkey’s face is called, what its purpose is, and how it can change with the turkey’s mood and activities?
  • How to attract wild turkeys to your yard by meeting their preferences for food, water, shelter and nesting sites, including why attracting them may not be a good idea?

There is so much to learn and enjoy about these amazing birds, be sure to check out each link for more information and something new to know about wild turkeys. As for the National Turkey Federation’s intent of encouraging more turkey consumption year-round, well, a turkey sandwich can be the perfect picnic lunch for your next birding walk!

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