Tom Terrific

October 2016

Meleagris gallopavo silvestris

In fall and winter, you can spot the fast-flying Eastern wild turkey in flocks up to 50 members.

- Wild turkeys, the state bird of South Carolina, are omnivorous—they forage on the ground or climb shrubs and small trees to feed. They prefer acorns, nuts, seeds, berries, roots and insects.

- The record-sized adult male wild turkey weighed 37 pounds. Typically, an adult tom turkey weighs approximately 11 to 24 pounds.

- A male turkey is called a tom or a gobbler. A juvenile male turkey is called a jake. The difference is the male’s tail fan feathers have feathers all the same length while the juvenile turkey has longer feathers in the middle of his tail fan.

- Predators include coyotes, gray wolves, bobcats, cougars, golden eagles and black bears.

- Male turkeys are polygamous and display for females by puffing out their feathers, spreading their tails and dragging their wings. This is called strutting.