Turkeys in Jackson Lake State Park? Have a few turkey facts

KUSA - So turkeys have been spotted visiting Jackson Lake State Park the past few weeks, as its Facebook said.

Jackson Lake State Park said that turkeys, despite being such big birds, like to sleep perched up in tree branches. They tend to sleep in groups, and when they awaken give out a series of yelps to make sure everyone is up before they head back down to the ground.

We loved that fact so much, we rounded up a five more for you. It’s not yet Thanksgiving, but still…

Wild turkeys can fly

Wild turkeys can fly top out to around 55 miles per hour for short flights, LiveScience said. Domestic turkeys, however, are too heavy to fly.

Only males go “gobble-gobble”

For this reason, LiveScience said, the males are called “gobblers.” Females make sounds more like chirps and clicks.

Male turkey heads can change colors

When it’s time to breed, a male turkey’s head can change between red, white and blue (how patriotic), LiveScience said. Sometimes, the change can happen within seconds.

Sharing its name with a country is no coincidence

Dictionary.com said that it all has to do with another bird, the guinea fowl, which looks not unlike an American turkey. The guinea fowl was imported to Europe through the Ottoman Empire, which was what the land the Turks occupied at the time was known as.

And when settlers came to America, saw a similar bird and began shipping it to Europe, they called it a turkey.

Benjamin Franklin liked turkeys better than eagles

When he criticized the choice of the bald eagle as a symbol, he said that it “looks more like a Turk’y [sic],” according to the Library of Congress. Franklin added that, “For in Truth, the Turk'y is in comparison a much more respectable Bird."

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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