Flocks of wild turkeys can be spotted all over yards, streets, and fields throughout Illinois this time of year, but do you know how they differ from domesticated turkeys?

Let's Talk Turkey

You might currently be thinking, "Why are we talkin' turkey when it's not Thanksgiving time?", but I promise you there are good reasons.

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Reason 1: Wild turkeys are roaming all over streets and neighborhoods in Illinois right now.

Reason 2: Wild turkey mating season just wrapped up in Illinois, so you need to keep a close eye out for these critters and their babies.

Reason 3; there are a lot of things most people don't know about wild turkeys.

Here's one wacky thing I learned about wild turkeys today thanks to the feathered visitors we spotted outside our studio window this morning;

Did you know many wild turkeys have BEARDS?

Townsquare Media, Canva
Townsquare Media, Canva

Have I been living under a rock for 43 years or am I just too "citified"? How have I never noticed a group of long, thin feathers hanging from a turkey's chest before?!? Apparently, it's mostly male turkeys that have beards, but female turkeys can too.

Now that my mind has been blown by turkey beards today, what else may we might not know about the wild turkeys in Illinois?

Little Known Facts About Wild Turkeys

I found a blog called Nature For My Soul that included lots of weird things most people don't know about wild turkeys, and here are 5 that I found the most fascinating...

  1. Wild turkeys CAN fly, while domesticated turkeys cannot. The birds can only manage short bursts of flight due to their heavy weight, but they can clock nearly 55mph and glide without flapping their wings for almost a mile.
  2. Turkeys blush when they're scared, ill, or mad! The feathers on a turkey's head and neck can turn red, white, or even blue when they get worked up about something.
  3. Female wild turkeys prefer large snoods. Do you know the weird, dangly, red things that are found on the top of a turkey's head? That's a snood. The bigger the snood, the more ladies that male turkey will get.
  4. Wild turkeys have fabulous vision and see in dazzling color...but only during the day. These poor turkeys can't really see a darn thing when it's dark outside.
  5. Male and female turkeys poop differently shaped turds. Male turkey turds are shaped like the letter J, and female turds look like spirals.

And now that I've talked about turkey poop, I'm officially done. LOL.

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