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Bunch of turkeys in Massachusetts


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I was wondering if anyone here could look at a photo on the Birding in Massachusetts group??? 
And either there, if they are or want to be a member, or here... give some thoughts.  Actually, with the privacy settings for the group, I'll have to screenshot the image to paste it here...  unless you're in the group. Link is: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10227506046975179&set=gm.2108704745963833

Some people are suggesting this is the smoke-phase wild turkey... one guy is insisting they're Narragansett turkeys...  I never heard of the smoke phase but saw an Audubon article on them.
The Audubon says the color is not a result of domestic genes...  I kind of question that idea... how would they know? Domestic birds are wild turkeys like domestic ducks(except muscovies) are pretty much mallard derived.
How would they know if these phases are just randomly thrown naturally and not a result of interbreeding with domestics to where domestic genes are now carried on from generation to generation?  It's a curious thing to me... so, I question...
But even beyond the question of how they KNOW it's a legit morph/phase and not a result of domestic genes in there somewhere... 
How would people be able to tell a smoke phase bird from a domestic bird and from a domestic x wild hybrid?

The pictures in question... my untrained eyes compared to just a couple websites and compared these birds to the smoke phase and I feel they should be darker for that... and compared with the Narragansett that someone is insisting and feel they should be lighter for that.
How on earth do you look at a turkey in the wild and KNOW that it's not domestic or even a little part domestic?  ugh... 

image.thumb.png.f4f0c1d1252a78abd3aeae90ac9bd1ae.png

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Tough call there, I see smoke ones once in awhile, and they do look like your birds. From what I can read the Narragannsets have white wing bars per this quote from Livestock conservancy

"The Narragansett color pattern contains black, gray, tan, and white. Its pattern is similar to that of the Bronze, with steel gray or dull black replacing the coppery bronze. White wing bars are the result of a genetic mutation that removes the bronze coloration and isn’t known outside the United States. The Narragansett’s beak is horn colored, its head is red to bluish-white, and its beard is black. The shanks and feet are salmon-colored. The standard weight for young hens is 14 pounds and toms are 23 pounds."

So I am afraid I cant clear anything up for you.However, the smoke phase is natural, occuring in all the states where turkeys are, so an occasional dally with a domestic would have to happen everywhere. Smoke phases have been reported for as long as records have been kept in the US.Heres a little blurb I found

"What is known is that the wild turkey has four distinct color variations from what is considered the usual plumage. They are the smoke phase, the erythritic or red phase, the melanistic or black phase, and the true albinos, which are pure white with pink eyes. Although these color variations are uncommon, the smoke phase is the most frequently seen. Recessive genes or mutations account for the color abnormalities."

 

If I saw these birds in the field here in jersey I would call them smokes, in new england I would have to have someone else call it.

 

 

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1 hour ago, millipede said:

How on earth do you look at a turkey in the wild and KNOW that it's not domestic or even a little part domestic? 

I don't have an answer to this question, but I would be very suspicious of these birds being completely wild. There's just too many white birds here.  I've been lucky enough to run into 3-4 smoke phase turkeys, and it almost always has been a single bird in a large flock of normal turkeys. 

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23 minutes ago, Aidan B said:

I don't have an answer to this question, but I would be very suspicious of these birds being completely wild. There's just too many white birds here.  I've been lucky enough to run into 3-4 smoke phase turkeys, and it almost always has been a single bird in a large flock of normal turkeys. 

My thoughts exactly. I haven't seen a smoky yet though.

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25 minutes ago, Kevin said:

8 out 11 are smoke phase Turkeys? No, just no. 

Highly suspicious but there is a flock not far from me that has about 10 smokes in a larger 30 bird flock. I am assuming if two birds mate and they both have that recessive gene,the offspring could all be smokes, however I am just spitballing here...

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I think these are smoke phase and am adding the only one that I have seen. The domestics come in various color combinations and the palm variety seems closest but none look quite like these. It seems possible that two smokes would produce smoke offspring.

 

Turkey smoke phase with chicks.jpeg

DSCN3387.jpeg

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