Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Wild Turkey

I took these photographs of a tom Turkey last June in Rice County, Minnesota. Turkey flocks develop complex and somewhat poorly understood patterns, which may vary among turkey subspecies. Often males and females establish separate pecking orders. Apparently these pecking orders are the result of kin selection, wherein a lower-ranked individual may sacrifice his or her chance of reproduction in exchange for the safety of the flock and the success of a related bird (McRoberts et al. 2014). The alpha male often mates with more than one female.

Males display by making a gobbling call to attract females or competing males. The male then struts, with his tail fanned, wings lowered, and head thrown back and pressed into the area between the scapulars.  He struts about in front of females, regardless of their indication of interest. When females are not present, he may gobble but he seldom struts.

No comments:

Post a Comment