Sunday, March 25, 2012

Strutting His Stuff


Male Wild Turkeys are polygamous, mating with as many hens as they can. Males display for females by puffing out their feathers, spreading out their tails and dragging their wings. This behavior is most commonly referred to as strutting. Their heads and necks are colored brilliantly with red, blue and white. The color can change with the turkey's mood, with a solid white head and neck (photo below) being the most excited. They use gobbling, drumming/booming and spitting as signs of social dominance, and to attract females. Courtship begins during the months of March and April, which is when turkeys are still flocked together in winter areas. Males may be seen courting in groups, often with the dominant male gobbling, spreading their tail feathers (strutting), drumming/booming and spitting.





This last photo shows the male color-morphing into a very excited white head and neck.

6 comments:

Montanagirl said...

Interesting post, and great photos of the Turkeys! I'd love getting that close to some of them. We have them here, but they are a very wary bird.

Wren said...

Fascinating post and I enjoyed your photos.

Passinthru Outdoors said...

That's a very nice longbeard. Thanks for sharing.

Willard said...

A classic spring encounter. It is amazing how their heads change color.

My way said...

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Monica said...

You have the most amazing pictures.

I was surprised to read that you have taken most of these in Illinois. I drive through that state often and have never seen these kinds of sites.

Amazing