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.