What Do Turkeys Look Like?

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The wild turkey is a relatively large bird with a long neck, body and legs with dark, somewhat iridescent feathers. Although the turkey can fly, its wing feathers are short, and the feathers of its tail are fan-shaped.

The male turkey is notable for a fleshy growth on the front of his head, called a caruncle, and a red, pouchlike growth on his throat, called a wattle. He also has caruncles around the base of his throat. He has spurs on his legs, which are pinkish or gray, and a bristly tuft of feathers on his breast. His head, which is naked, can also be blue, red or white. The female is duller than the male and a bit smaller. She has neck feathers, and her naked head is gray.

Domesticated turkeys are much heavier than wild turkeys, and have lost the ability to fly. Their shorter legs, coupled with their weight, also means that domesticated turkeys can't move around as well as wild turkeys overall. They are also not as intelligent as wild turkeys, and quickly become prey for predators if they escape their pens. Popular breeds of domestic turkey include the bronze, which has coloration similar to that of the wild turkey, the large white, white Holland, Royal Palm, slate, black, white midget and Jersey giant.