At the time of colonial settlement, the wild turkey (Melleagris gallopavo) was abundant across Rhode Island. Due to habitat loss and overharvest, turkeys were extirpated from the state in the early 1900’s. Rhode Island biologists conducted turkey reintroduction efforts in the 1980s and 1990s; today wild turkeys are found in virtually all areas of the state. Populations have rebounded so strongly that highly regulated, sustainable harvest of wild turkeys has been reinstated in Rhode Island. (RI DEM)
Here’s some behavior that sounds familiar: Males will breed with multiple females and form all male flocks outside of the breeding season. Females are responsible for the poult (chick) rearing. So make mine a Tom and pass the gravy!
This guy now “displays” for the students in the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at RISD.
In the early 20th century, RISD faculty member Edna Lawrence founded the Nature Lab to “open students’ eyes to the marvels of beauty in nature…of forms, space, color, texture, design and structure.”
The public is invited to visit the lab — call ahead.
RISD Nature Lab, 13 Waterman Street, (directions)