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North Carolina Wildlife Species Information

Wild Turkey - Meleagris gallopavo

Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo

Identification Tips:

  • Length: 34 inches
  • Very large, small-headed, round-winged, long-tailed, ground-dwelling bird
  • Unfeathered bluish head and reddish throat
  • Dark breast, belly and upper back
  • Iridescent bronze and green wings
  • Barred primaries
  • Dark, fan-shaped tail with brown or buff band at tip

Adult male:

  • Larger head with wattle at throat, caruncled forehead, and projection behind the bill
  • More iridescent plumage

Similar species:

Too large to be confused with any other bird.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.

Above information used courtesy of United States Geological Survey.

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