Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wild Turkeys of the Santa Rita Mountains

There are several subspecies of Wild Turkeys is the U.S. We are fortunate to have the Gould's
Wild Turkey in our Madera Canyon. The Sierra
Madre Mountains of Mexico is the center of the
range of this magnificent bird. It is the least known of the 5 subspecies of wild turkey. It is also the largest in size. But is the smallest in number.

This map shows you the range of wild turkeys in the U.S. Gould's is only found in the Mountains of SE Arizona and SW New Mexico

This male stopped me on the road up the canyon one summer day. Whether he was annoyed with the car or strutting for females I am not sure. There were no females in the area. The sun shown on the metallic blue green coloration of his feathers.

Typical strutting behavior includes dragging the primary wing feathers on the ground as demonstrated in this photo.

Look for more information about Gould's Wild Turkey at the National Wild Turkey Foundation bulletin #5.

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