Well, another year has rolled around, and I'm trying to think of some new way to write a column for Thanksgiving. I looked online and found something new — a turkey chick.
I decided that it was too cute to pass up, so here it is.
My copy of the "Birders Handbook" states that the female builds the nest, a shallow scrape lined with dried leaves and grass. There may be up to 20 eggs, but most often about a dozen and incubation takes the female about a month. The chicks are downy, mobile and shown food. And they may fly within six to ten days.
The diet consists of fruits, nuts, bugs, and small animals. (In short, whatever they can catch.) And interestingly, they swallow stones or small pebbles to aid in digestion through their gizzards. There are many birds that do so. Watch carefully and you may observe chickens and such swallowing stones.
One of the fascinating things about wild turkeys is why they are called "wild". From Dr. Hewson Bird Awareness newsletter I learned that this bird was probably domesticated by the people of Mexico and the Spanish explorers took some back to Spain about 1519. The birds were then introduced throughout Europe and so the Pilgrims were familiar with "turkeys." On this continent they met the same bird but it was running wild, hence "wild turkey."