Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Range map of our friend Meleagris gallopovaThe ancestor all present-day gobblers—Meleagris gallopova - ranged from southeastern Canada to Mexico. 

Our present-day wild turkey has a loud call, with descending gobbles, and a variety of clucking notes. He struts through open woodlands, oaks, edges, and the occasional suburb.

The Wild Turkey’s popularity at the table led to a drastic decline in numbers, but they have recovered and now occur in every state except Alaska.

I think Ben Franklin said it best, in comparing the turkey to the eagle:

For in Truth the Turk'y is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.... He is, (though a little vain and silly, it is true, but not the worse emblem for that,) a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards, who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Information from A Short History of the Turkey by the Collonial Williamsburg Newsletter, and BirdFellow.com.