It is the time of year when turkeys adorn almost every table. The turkeys bought at the store are domesticated but there are many wild types of turkey that grace the wilds of America . The Rio Grande (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia ) is the turkey that graces this part of our world. Rio Grandes have a range from the river for which they are named up through western Texas and northeastern New Mexico and up into the Dakotas and Montana .
Males can grow up to 4 feet tall and weigh 20 pounds.
Females are smaller, only reaching 8-12 pounds. The males are called gobblers and the females are called hens. Their habitat is the brushy areas around rivers and streams. They also frequent mesquite, pine and scrub oak forests.
Turkeys may travel ten miles or more from roosts to nesting areas. Breeding occurs in spring or summer.
The males strut and gobble to attract females. Once breeding has occurred, the hen will lay 8-12 eggs on the ground. Incubation takes 28 days.
Turkeys eat a variety of foods. The food includes insects, grasses, vines, acorns, seeds and fruits.
Turkeys are beautiful birds. Their eyesight and hearing are excellent. They will see or hear you before you see them. They are very good fliers so seeing them in the wild is difficult. Do not let this stop you from looking for them. Get out there and explore your world. You will find something fascinating!