Turkey Page

Wild Turkey walking across grass.
Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)walking across a field in spring.

Wild Turkey

Meleagris gallopavo

Family: Phasianidae (Pheasants, Quail, Peacocks, Turkeys and Chickens)

Benjamin Franklin preferred that the Wild Turkey, not the Bald Eagle, be the national bird. Wild turkeys are found all over the United States. This bird went from a rare visitor before the Jasper Fire to an uncommonly seen resident. Turkeys feed on acorns and nuts from trees, seeds, insects, roots and berries. They forage in open meadows during the day but roost in trees at night. Before the fire, Jewel Cave National Monument was heavily forested with few meadows. There were more than enough areas to roost, but the turkeys would have to fly far to find food. Now that the fire created open meadows where the turkeys can search for food, this bird has returned to the Monument.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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11149 U.S. Hwy. 16
Building B12

Custer, SD 57730


(605) 673-8300

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