My scientific name leads to confusion, “Meleagris” means Guineafowl and “gallopavo” stands for peafowl. But I’m not at all a mix of the two! Nor am I the turkey that you feast on at Christmas or Thanksgiving. I am a wild bird, not a farm animal.
I am an impressive winged creature and despite my imposing stature, I remain difficult to observe in the wild. I mostly move along the ground to forage. I am well equipped to walk and run and I can reach speeds of 19km/h when I run. Contrary to popular belief, I can fly very well, but generally at low altitudes and over short distances. In any case I don’t fly much, preferring my feet to my wings. To best protect myself I spend my nights perched in trees.
In the 17th century, we numbered in the millions on the continent. Excessive hunting and deforestation have led to my complete disappearance in Canada. I am starting to reappear as American Wild Turkeys have spread northward across the border to once again colonize the forests of Ontario and Southern Quebec.
Length 91 - 122 cm
Weight M : 6,1 - 10,8 kg
F : 3,2 - 6,5 kg
Wing span 122 - 152 cm
Record of 12 years 6 months in the wild
Mature deciduous forests, cultivated fields
Grains, fruits, leaves, insects, fronds and buds
1 brood per year; 7 to 18 eggs; 25 to 31 days incubation; polygamous, couple lasts during mating time