Animal of the week: Turkeys

Kassidy Hart, Features Editor

The animal, or animals, of this week, are the turkeys. I’m sure you’ve seen them around campus whether it be on your walk to class or outside the windows of your classrooms and dorms. The specific species of turkeys we are seeing here are wild turkeys, the scientific name being Meleagris.

Wild turkeys have different diets depending on the season. Since we are in fall the turkeys are typically feeding more on fruits, berries, seeds, and insects. Acorns are also a crucial source of nutrients for them especially as we enter the winter season. With this diet, the male turkeys can get up to 24 pounds and the females can get up to 12 pounds and generally live between three and five years.

The daily routine of a wild turkey tends to be a cycle of feeding, calling, breeding, preening and loafing. You will rarely see them doing any of these things alone though. Wild turkeys typically travel in small or medium-sized flocks. Usually, these flocks consist of one dominant male and can sometimes have up to 20 or more hens.

Some other fun facts about turkeys are that they can actually see three times better than the average human and they tend to sleep in trees to avoid predators at night. The common myth about turkeys is that they can’t fly but that’s not true. A wild turkey has been known to fly up to 55 mph in short bursts which is quite impressive for its size.

Now that you know more about these complex birds, keep an eye out, and don’t forget to look above you.