Wild Turkey | Bird, Thanksgiving Dinner, Bourbon Whiskey
When you think Wild Turkey, what comes to mind? Bird? Thanksgiving Dinner? Bourbon Whiskey? Actually, all of the above would be correct!
Wild Turkeys are the largest game bird in North America, living in every state in the USA except Alaska. Turkeys live year-round in open woodlands and their population is estimated to be approximately 7.8 million. They are part of the same family as Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse. Turkeys spend most of their time during the day on the ground eating acorns, seeds, small insects and wild berries. They can also be seen at backyard bird feeders eating the fallen birdseed and cracked corn. Spending their nights high up in trees sleeping, they are protected from predators.
With Thanksgiving upon us in the United States, many of us will enjoy a feast including a big, fat, juicy turkey with all the fixin’s. Sides of creamy mashed potatoes, candied yams, bread stuffing, green bean casserole, corn and cranberry sauce to name a few… can’t you just taste it? Depending on what part of the country you live, you may have other foods in addition to or in place of the aforementioned. I lived in Daytona Beach for a bit in the early 1990’s and spent Thanksgiving with my friend Connie and her extended family. Her Granny made turkey & dumplings- this was my first time ever tasting these yummy delights and now I can’t imagine life without them. Whenever I eat dumplings I can’t help but think of that wonderful day when they all welcomed me into their family on Thanksgiving. RIP Granny, Aunt Shirley and Uncle Bob.
Every year the President of the United States pardons a domestic turkey or two and saves them from becoming someone’s dinner. This ceremony dates back to the 1940’s and became a yearly tradition in 1989. This year, President Trump pardoned Drumstick (a 36 pound/ 16 kg turkey) and Wishbone (a 47 pound/ 21 kg turkey). They will now live out their lives at Virginia Tech’s “Gobbler’s Roost”, along with Tator and Tot who were pardoned last year. Domestic turkeys weigh twice that of a wild turkey and are unable to fly due to their weight.
Maybe you like to wash your Thanksgiving dinner down with some Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey. This American whiskey is produced at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. It is one of the best selling premium Bourbons in the U.S. and in the world. It is recognized by its 101 proof and its unique and unmatched flavor. Wild Turkey got its name after a distillery executive brought along a private supply of the bourbon for a wild turkey hunting trip with some friends. It was so well liked by his friends that the following year they asked him to bring some more of that “Wild Turkey” bourbon. This nickname soon became a legendary brand and best seller.
We see a steady stream of wild turkeys in our backyard all year long. We see the most in the Spring and Summer, averaging 6-8 or more at a time. One Spring a few years ago we saw 20 baby turkeys along with their parents. We commonly see male turkeys, called Toms, strutting around with their tail feathers fanned trying to impress the females, called hens. We are often awakened early in the morning as they are walking outside our window gobbling to each other.
Video of male (Tom) plumped up with tail fanned trying to impress the females. (Karen Hance)
Video of female (hen) eating fallen birdseed from feeder in our yard. (Karen Hance)
I’ve included a coloring page for the kids, courtesy of kidzone