Turkeys Flourish

after a short and mild winter

Unusually Large Turkeys

In the picture I am holding a Jake turkey (a young male) it weighed 22 pounds and it had a six inch beard. My uncle and I figured that the turkey was only about 2 years old based on its talons! That is a ridiculously huge turkey for only 2 years old! We both were puzzled by why this happened (since that was not the only ginormous Jake we had seen in that day) and that's what inspired me to do a project on it!

Before we get started...

Here are the different types of turkey

So Now that we have that figured out, How do different climates affect a turkeys population?

Down South

Down south (from about Kentucky down)

Where it is warm, Turkeys can grow up to twice the size of what they are up North. Why? Because Where we are, turkeys aren't able to eat as much through winter as turkeys down south are since they go into a hibernation. They also grow longer beards since they don't freeze off in the winters like what would happen up north. The turkey down south live in similar habitats as the ones up north (prairies, forests, highlands etc.)

Up North

Where the summers and falls last as long as the winter

Turkeys up north go into a hibernation, meaning they eat and roost the whole winter.

Roost-A phase that most birds go through around winter. Its like an area where birds can rest where they know they will be safe through out the winter.

Usually over a winter period up north turkeys gain 3 to 4 pound while a turkey down south that is alive in the winter gains 8 to 12 pounds. Their diets consist of sand, roots, grass, corn and bugs and it goes the same for turkeys down south.

how does the environment influence populations of organisms over multiple generations?

In the North, if there are long periods of times where the winters are short and mild Turkey reproduce more, and more turkey survive during the winters. This actually can be bad because if this happens for a long enough time, the Turkey actually could effect the food chain because there would be an imbalance of the bugs and things turkey eat.

Relatives to the turkey

Pheasants (large birds like the turkey) are the closest relative to the turkey. however vultures, and other large birds are also closely related. infact, if you saw a turkey vulture from a distance, it looks a lot like a turkey.


Fun Fact!

Did you know that a young turkey will either end up looking exactly like its Mom or dad?