Turkeys for Kids | Wild Turkeys | Animals for Kids | Thanksgiving bird


These are turkeys! Turkeys are large birds that live in North
America. Do you recognize the sound they make? Listen! We call this “gobbling” because it sounds
like the turkey is saying gobble gobble gobble! Speaking of gobbling, turkeys like to eat
nuts, berries, seeds, insects, and occasionally will even eat a frog or lizard. Turkeys spend most of their days grazing for
food and chatting with one another. At night, they go up into trees to sleep. That may surprise you, because a lot of people
think turkeys can’t fly. Wild turkeys DO fly – short distances, anyway. Before taking off, they squat down a little. Then they use their powerful legs to burst
upwards to escape predators. They beat their wings furiously, and usually
fly about 100 yards at a speed of about 55 miles per hour! The wild turkey is among the five largest
flying birds in the world. The others are swans, the giant albatross,
South America’s giant vultures and the kori bustard, an African bird. Domesticated turkeys, however – the kind that
live on farms – can’t really fly. They’ve been bred to be very large – so
large, that they’re just too heavy. See the difference between wild turkeys and
farm turkeys? The turkey got its name due to a case of mistaken
identity. People who first came to North America believed
this native bird was a different type of bird that was transported by Turkish merchants
– so they referred to them as “turkeys.” Once they realized that these birds were not
the same bird, and are indigenous only to North America, it was too late. The name had already caught on! Wild turkeys were a big hit with explorers,
and they brought back turkeys to their home countries to be bred and raised. Full-grown wild turkeys typically weighed
over 13 kilograms – around 30 pounds! That meant a lot of food for a family. Turkeys are now raised by humans throughout
the world. There are two species of turkeys: The wild
turkey, also known as the domestic turkey, and ocellated turkeys. Wild turkeys can be found in the forests of
North America, from Mexico, through the midwest and eastern United States, all the way up
to southeastern Canada. The ocellated turkeys are found only in the
forests of the Yucatán Peninsula. Ocellated turkeys are much smaller than wild
turkeys. They’re not that different in length, but
Ocellated turkeys weigh on average 3 kg (6.6 lb). Wild turkeys are heavier and weigh on average
13.5 kg (about 30 lbs). The males in both species are more colorful
than the female turkeys. This is common in the order of galliformes,
which are comprised of birds like turkeys, grouse, chickens, quails and pheasants. Male turkeys rely on their colorful good looks
to attract a mate. Ocellated turkeys have brown and green feathers. They have blue heads with red or orange nodules. Wild turkeys have brown, white and red feathers. The males can often be seen displaying or
fanning their feathers proudly to attract a female. There are other very noticeable differences
between male and female turkeys. Did you know male turkeys have beards? And that’s not all. Let’s take a closer look at their very fancy
heads: special features include caruncles, snood, wattle (also called a dewlap), major
caruncle and beard. Caruncles is the name for the excess flesh
that helps connect the snood to the wattle and beard, making up this very specific turkey look. Turkeys are very social creatures and can
be found living and traveling in flocks.They actually will become distressed when isolated. Awww. Groups of turkeys are also called rafters. Turkeys are very vocal and can be heard frequently
gobbling or chatting with one another. Male turkeys (also known as Jakes when they’re
young, and gobblers or toms when they’re older) make special sounds to attract mates,
including drumming, booming, and spitting sounds. Female turkeys, also called hens, yelp to
let the courting males know where they are. When turkeys have babies, they lay about a
dozen eggs at a time. They make a nest in a shallow little hole
on the ground, surrounded by plants for camouflage. The eggs hatch after about a month. Young turkeys can survive leaving the nest
right after hatching, but they usually stay in their mother’s care until their first
fall. Young turkeys, also know as poults, can fly,
perch and roost. As they get older, they fly less and less
frequently. As adults they are more likely to be seen
running and climbing over things to get around. Turkeys can run about 25 miles per hour! Turkeys are somewhat aggressive especially
as they get older. Adult turkeys can recognize strangers and
if an unfamiliar turkey is placed into a flock, the other turkeys will most likely attack
it. Turkeys have also been known to chase and
peck at humans and other animals they don’t like. Did you know Benjamin Franklin secretly wanted
the turkey to be the national bird of the United States of America? He never proposed this publicly, but he wrote
a very funny letter to his daughter talking about how the Bald Eagle wasn’t a very good
symbol since it stole fish from other birds. While the Turkey was by comparison a much
more respectable bird that was even quite brave. The turkey was also very important to many
Native American tribes across North America. Turkey meat and eggs played an important part
in their diet, and they would use their feathers to make cloaks and headdresses. The turkey also played a part in many traditional
ceremonies, including a famous ritual turkey dance imitating the wild turkey’s movements. It has become a common North American tradition
to eat turkey on Thanksgiving and other holidays. Because they are such a large bird, they can
be the centerpiece of a feast for a large number of people. They also remind Americans of the people who
came the continent for the first time. Before these people moved to America, they
didn’t even know what a turkey was! Turkeys are part of the story of people discovering
a new world. Gobble gobble! Have you ever seen a turkey in person? Do you think they’re silly looking? Do you eat turkey on Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comment section below,
we want to know what you think! Now it’s time to watch another Socratica
Kids video all about animals. You get to pick!

15 thoughts on “Turkeys for Kids | Wild Turkeys | Animals for Kids | Thanksgiving bird

  1. Mrs. Faile's First Grade Class:
    9 of us have seen a turkey in real life.
    13 of us think they look silly!
    All of us eat turkey for thanksgiving!

  2. We have seen real turkeys. We have seen them on the side of the roads, in our yards and and running across the road. We do eat turkey for thanksgiving dinner.

  3. Yay my kids loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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