Wild Turkeys

Several decades ago wild turkeys were reintroduced into the rural areas of Rhode Island in the hopes of reestablishing a native population. The effort began in 1980 when the Department of Environmental Management imported 29 turkeys from Vermont.  According to the ProJo:

The population of wild turkeys in the state has fluctuated since they were reintroduced in 1980, but they appear to be on the rise in recent years. Here the John Williams score swells: The numbers, estimated to be roughly 5,000, are so healthy that Rhode Island is doubling the bag limit for the springtime turkey hunting season to two bearded turkeys.

The birds have moved into urban areas as well, and for my money, there is nothing weirder than a family of these massive birds roosting in a tree. It just looks so wrong.

Seen here is a specimen of wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, contributed by the DEM in 1994 to the Museum of Natural History. I like the way my Red Sox T-shirt appears to be reflected onto the turkey’s breast.

Attention birders: On December 12 the MNH hosts ‘Birding in the collections.’

Join the Museum of Natural History to peruse their collection of over 5,500 bird specimens. From tropical Sword-billed Hummingbirds to extinct Passenger Pigeons, you can view the wonders of the avian world up close and without the need of your binoculars.

Program fee per session: $3 per adult (includes museum admission); free for museum members. Please note: Vaults are accessible by stairs only.

Museum of Natural History, Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, (directions)

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