scientific name: Meleagris gallapavo
length: 7-15 inches
quantity: 5 total
native habitat: North America
*despite their weight, wild turkeys, unlike their domestic counterparts, are agile fliers. in an ideal habitat of open woodland or wooded grasslands, they may fly beneath the canopy top and find perches. they usually fly close to the ground for no more than a quarter mile.
the range and numbers of the wild turkey had decreased at the beginning of the 20th century due to hunting and loss of habitat. by the 1940s, it was almost totally extirpated from Canada and becoming localized in pockets in the United States.
game officials made efforts to protect and encourage the breeding of the surviving wild population, and some trapped birds were relocated to new areas, including some in the western states where it was not native.
as wild turkey numbers rebounded, hunting was legalized in 49 U.S. states (excluding Alaska).