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Enviro Educator: Let’s Talk Turkey

Anyone that is out and about in our beautiful Keystone area is undoubtedly seeing some wild turkeys.

There are two different species of wild turkeys in our area, and they look very similar. The only way to tell the difference between the Eastern Wild Turkey and the Florida Wild Turkey is that the Florida Wild Turkey has white barring on their wing feathers.

Wild TurkeyWild turkeys are legally hunted through out Florida in the spring and the fall at specific times depending on what zone and what type of weaponry is being used. In the early 1900’s there were only about 200,000 wild turkeys in the United States. Thanks to legislation like the Pittman Robertson Act we now have about 6.5 million turkeys according to the National Wild Turkey Federation. Hunting game legally, with permits and sticking to the regulation limits placed on the harvest, benefits that species of animals. Hunting permits brings revenue to federal and state lands. Hunting on private land brings revenue to the owners and is in incitive to not sell or develop that land. Therefore, many of the hunters have contributed to the comeback of the wild turkey.

Wild turkeys are nothing like the domestic turkey. They can run 18 mph and fly 50 mph.

domestic turkeyOur modern-day domestic turkey could probably not walk from one side of the pen to another without getting winded. They are extremely top-heavy and have been genetically modified to reach their top meat production in a very short time. There are a few species of domestic turkey but the one that will probably end up on you plate for the holidays will be a Broad Breasted White.

Most of our farm animals were domesticated about 10,000 years ago and have come to the North America from Europe or Asia. The America’s, however, are the ones who domesticated the turkey about 2000 years ago. Ben Franklin was so enamored with the wild turkey that he wanted it to be our national symbol instead of the bald eagle.

Some other facts about turkeys:

  • They don’t just gobble they also cluck and purr
  • Male dropping are J-shape and female droppings are spiral shape
  • The older the bird is the bigger the droppings

That is a weird way to end this article. Enjoy the holidays

Remember, always work with nature instead of against her.

Jane Whitehurst

November 2021
1. KCA’s Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive Collects 70 Turkeys for Families in Need
2. October 2021 Meeting Minutes
3. Special use (land use)
4. Plan Amendment (land use)
5. Veterans Day Facts
6. Enviro Educator: Let’s Talk Turkey
7. Holiday Event: “Tree Brothers Christmas”