Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey

The Wild Turkey is a native North American bird that was brought to Europe in the 16th century through a trade route which passed through Constantinople, Turkey, after which the bird was named. Unlike its domesticated counterpart, the wild turkey is an agile flier, capable of reaching speeds of 60 miles per hour. Their numbers were greatly reduced in the early 20th century due to habitat lost and hunting, but bounced back later in the century after protection and breeding efforts.

Although he never publicly opposed the Bald Eagle as a national bird, in a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin hailed the Turkey as a more appropriate bird representing the newly founded nation: "I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on".

Song of the Day: A Whiter Shade Of Pale - Procol Harum (1967)
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