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millipede

gobble gobble

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There are lots of birding type questions that I'll ask some day that I never thought about asking because I simply didn't think of the scenario. I never thought I'd stop and ask how to tell a domestic from wild turkey... I mean, I think I'd be able to tell some farm turkeys from wild but, there are some farm turkeys that sure are wild looking. There are some wild turkeys that are quite skittish and then there are some that seem comfortable around people. I'm hoping/thinking there's a physical clue to help me when I see them in the field.

Saturday we saw a wild one crossing the road in front of us, out in the middle of nowhere on the way to an audubon field trip to Devil's Den State Park...  Then yesterday we saw three in someone's yard that seemed quite comfortable just pecking around the yard. It makes me think they're domestic but, I wasn't certain. Part of me wanted to go to the stranger's house and ask... HA... I didn't. But I did get pictures. One male and two females as far as I could tell and the male had its tail spread the whole time we were stopped there... which wasn't long since it was in front of someone's house... that's always a bit awkward. ha. 

Anyway... I hope I don't sound like an idiot here... this is just something I've never thought about before... What do I look for, if anything, to be certain of birds being wild or domestic when it comes to turkeys...  it's a little easier with the ducks, most of the time.
Oh yeah, part of my curiosity is because I was making an eBird checklist while driving down this road... so I wasn't sure if I should report as wild turkey or just leave them off the list.  Seemed an odd place to see them so relaxed near a house but at the same time, I've never seen turkeys at that yard before...

 

turkey1.JPG

turkey2.JPG

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1 hour ago, millipede said:

Then yesterday we saw three in someone's yard that seemed quite comfortable just pecking around the yard. It makes me think they're domestic but, I wasn't certain.

Plenty of undomesticated animals know where to find a handout.  I'd count these birds.  

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2 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Plenty of undomesticated animals know where to find a handout.  I'd count these birds.  

Agreed. Just a few days ago I found a sizable flock of turkeys feeding in a cow pen next to a house, and thought they were domestic until seeing them fly off into some brush where another 20+ were waiting. I usually find that Wild Turkeys are smaller than domestics. Unless the turkey is mostly white or is obviously a domestic animal (in an enclosure with other domestic ducks or fowl), I will often count them.

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