Fowl Are Fair on Day 5

Fowl Are Fair on Day Five, with Special Attention to Galliforms

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

RedJunglefowl.Gallus-gallus-FredericPelsey

Red Junglefowl (wild equivalent of domestic chicken) Frederic Pelsey photo

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [‘ôph] that may fly [ye‘ôphēph] above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.  And God created great whales [tannînim ha-gadolîm], and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl [‘ôph kanaph] after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl [‘ôph] multiply in the earth. (Genesis 1:20-22)

In the Holy Bible, King James Version, the term “fowl” is repeatedly used to denote birds in general – animals who fly with wings and feathers. Nowadays, however, we usually limit the term “fowl” to refer to “waterfowl” (like ducks) or landfowl, like chickens.  The latter category – landfowl – are, generally speaking, birds that stay close to the ground because their body plan is fairly heavy (which is not good for intense or prolonged flying), like chickens or turkeys.  The fancy term for these landfowl is GALLIFORM, meaning shaped like a chicken.

Accordingly, God is glorified by His creation of poultry (domesticated chicken-like birds) and similar landfowl (a/k/a “gamefowl”), both being taxonomically categorized as Galliforms (i.e., birds whose physical forms that resemble big or small chickens).

Galliforms, as large ground-dwelling birds, are well-known for eating seeds and insects (both of which are often found on or near the ground). As noted above, their body weight encumbers them from flying very much or very far, although they can and do fly short distances when needed.  When chased, by predators, they often run and hide (as is indicated in 1st Samuel 26:18 & 26:20).  These often-domesticated birds include chicken, quails, pheasants, tragopans, argus, grouse, guineafowl, incubator birds, craciforms (such as guan, chachalaca and curassow), ptarmigan, turkey, and peafowl.  1st-Samuel26.20-partridge-slide

The typical icon of the galliform group (according to taxonomist Carl Linnaeus, in A.D. 1758) is Gallus gallus, a label assigned to both Asia’s wild Junglefowl and the domestic Chicken.  Many of these birds, especially chickens and turkeys, are raised by humans, for their eggs or to be eaten (as meat).  CodfishLays1000000Eggs-poem

As we know from Scripture (Luke 11:12-13), poultry eggs are a truly good source of nutrition for humans, and the whites (albumen) of eggs taste better when seasoned with salt (Job 6:6).

Galliform birds mostly live mostly sedentary lives (although some seasonally migrate) in moderate climate zones of Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, Australia, and many islands. (Don’t expect to find them in the super-dry Sahara Desert or in super-cold Antarctica.)

Turkeys-in-wild.SchuylkillCenter-EnvlEducn

AMERICAN TURKEYS Schuylkill Center for Envir’l Educ’n photo

Some of these poultry birds are usually found only live in certain parts of the world (such as wild turkeys, which are biogeographically native only to North and South America), yet they can be introduced (as immigrants) to other places that have similar climates.  Because landfowl usually nest on or near the ground they are often victims to predators, including humans; accordingly it is important to avoid over-hunting them (and over-harvesting their eggs); this conservation-relevant reality (and concern) is acknowledged by Moses in Deuteronomy 22:6-7.

Amazingly, the Lord Jesus once compared His own willingness and ability, to care and protect humans, to that of a galliform – specifically, a mother hen — who uses her own body to protectively care for her own hatchling baby chicks (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34).    How good it is to belong to Him forever!

Luke13.34-KnowingJesus.com-pic

LUKE 13:34 (Knowing-Jesus.com image)

Lord’s Avian Wonders – A Christmas Turkey?

“The works of the LORD are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them.” (Psalms 111:2 NKJV)

While updating our passes at Lowry Park Zoo last week, I found this startled “Turkey” insisting that he was not a “Turkey”

Non-Turkey at Lowry Park Zoo cropped

Startled Non-Turkey at Lowry Park Zoo (cropped)

To me, he had wattles like a turkey!

Well, maybe it’s not a turkey after all. It is actually is a Guineafowl. Plus, they are not even in the same family.

Guinefowl at Lowry Park Zoo

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) at Lowry Park Zoo

Turkeys have to keep a low profile during the Christmas season as you have learned from several of Emma’s stories about the Commander Turkey. 

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18 NKJV)

Here are some of the decorations as you enter the zoo:

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Guineafowl – Numididae

Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae

Lowry Park Zoo

Gospel Presentation

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Reginald the Turkey Commander on Christmas

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Reginald and a Captain in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Reginald the Turkey Commander on Christmas

by Emma Foster

Once again the turkeys were gathering together. They wanted to celebrate Christmas.The hunters were going out into the backwoods to hunt turkeys. The turkeys were going to their secret fortress in the snow. It was a little bit harder getting to the fortress because of the snow. There was a large snowstorm coming so the turkeys had to trudge through the snow and scoop it out of the way with shovels they had to bring with them. Reginald needed help dragging a small Christmas tree to the fortress. All of the turkeys had their Army helmets on in case any hunters were nearby.

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Because of the cold, the turkeys brought lots of blankets to keep them warm. The blankets were piled on a sled. The turkeys also wore camouflage coats and mittens.
Since it was so cold, Reginald built a fire and the turkeys roasted marshmallows. Reginald also brought candy canes.

After they ate all the candy canes and marshmallows, the turkeys gathered around the small Christmas tree and sang Silent Night. This was their favorite Christmas song because the hunters were not shooting so it really was a silent night.

Christmas Ham ©WikiC

Christmas Ham ©WikiC

The good thing was it was so cold that the hunters had to stay at home and have ham for Christmas dinner instead of turkey. That meant all the turkeys were safe.

Merry Christmas!
Gobble, Gobble!


I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. (Psalms 13:6 KJV)

Lee’s Addition:

Thanks again, Emma, for keeping us informed about Reginald and his turkey friends.

I asked Emma if she would give us another tale about Reginald for Christmas and she has produced this fine new tale. Emma is a fine young Christian teenager.

Check out her other writings:

Other Guest Writers

Wordless Birds

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Reginald, Turkey Commander

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Reginald – (Wild Turkey by Daves BirdingPix)

Reginald, Turkey Commander

By Emma Foster

There once was a turkey named Reginald who lived in the backwoods of Louisiana. Every year Reginald would band together with many other turkeys in a secret fortress underground to protect themselves from hunters hunting for turkeys to eat on Thanksgiving. Reginald and his friends had built the fortress a long time ago.

Reginald could tell it was Thanksgiving when one day he saw many hunters lurking in the backwoods searching for a turkey to eat on that special day. Reginald quickly went home to grab his Army helmet which he used as protection from gun shots, and called all his friends to their special underground fortress.

Many turkeys came prepared for the day. Most of them wore their Army helmets. Many other turkeys were there as well.  They had brought food for Thanksgiving.  Not just people celebrated Thanksgiving, turkeys did too, but without the turkey.

Soon there was a big party going on in the fortress. Not one hunter was aware that all the turkeys in the backwoods were in the underground fortress. The turkeys were joyously celebrating Thanksgiving. They were very thankful they were not “on the menu” that day.

turkey1

Reginald was happy that the hunters could not find any turkeys. All the hunters eventually had to go to the grocery store to get a turkey, and every hunter from the backwoods hates to go to the grocery store and buy a turkey.

Soon Thanksgiving was over, and all the turkeys rejoiced. Even so, Reginald always made sure his Army helmet was where he needed it in case a hunter was nearby.

 

The End


Lee’s Addition:

“… But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Corinthians 7:7b KJV)

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV)

Emma has given us another great Bird Tale. I have been holding this for a while, waiting to get closer to Thanksgiving, but it is too adorable to hold any longer. So, it’s a little early, but ENJOY!

I keep encouraging her to write a tale for us, because she is developing into a gifted author. May we all encourage our young people to develop whatever talent the Lord has given them.

Maybe we can get a follow-up on Reginald and his friends.

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Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot – by Emma Foster

George, The Hummingbird

Norman Joins The Baseball Team

Bird Tales

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Vol. 2, No. 5 – The Wild Turkey

THE WILD TURKEY

The Wild Turkey
From Col. Fred. Kaempfer.
Copyrighted by Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE WILD TURKEY.

imgi

T has been observed that when the Turkey makes its appearance on table all conversation should for the moment be suspended. That it is eaten in silence on some occasions may be inferred from the following anecdote: A certain judge of Avignon, famous for his love of the glorious bird, which the American people have wisely selected for the celebration of Thanksgiving Day, said to a friend: “We have just been dining on a superb Turkey. It was excellent. Stuffed with truffles to the very throat—tender, delicate, filled with perfume! We left nothing but the bones!” “How many were there of you?” asked his friend. “Two,” replied the judge, “the Turkey—and myself!” The reason, no doubt, why this brilliant bird, which so much resembles the domestic Turkey, is now almost extinct. It was formerly a resident of New England, and is still found to some extent as far north-west as the Missouri River and south-west as Texas. In Ohio it was formerly an abundant resident. Dr. Kirtland (1850) mentions the time when Wild Turkeys were more common than tame ones are now.

The nests of this bird are very difficult to discover, as they are made on the ground, midst tall, thick weeds or tangled briars. The female will not leave the nest until almost trodden upon. It is stated that when the eggs are once touched, she will abandon her nest.

The Turkey became known to Europeans almost immediately upon the discovery of America by the Spaniards in 1518, and it is probable that it is distinctively an American bird. In its wild state, its plumage, as in the case of the Honduras Turkey, grows more lustrous and magnificent as the family extends southward.

The “Gobblers,” as the males are called, associate in parties of ten to one hundred, seeking their food apart from the females, which wander singly with their young or in troops with other hens and their families, sometimes to the number of seventy or eighty. They travel on foot, unless disturbed by the hunter or a river compels them to take wing. It is said that when about to cross a river, they select a high eminence from which to start, that their flight may be more sure, and in such a position they sometimes remain for a day or more, as if in consultation. On such occasions the males gobble vociferously, strutting about pompously as if to animate their companions. At the signal note of their leader, they wing their way to the opposite shore.

The Wild Turkey feeds on many kinds of berries, fruits, and grasses. Beetles, tadpoles, young frogs, and lizards are sometimes found in its crop. When the Turkeys reach their destination, they disperse in flocks, devouring the mast as they proceed.

Pairing time begins in March. The sexes roost apart, but at no great distance, so that when the female utters a call, every male within hearing responds, rolling note after note in rapid succession, in a voice resembling that of the tame Turkey when he hears any unusual noise. Where the Turkeys are numerous, the woods from one end to the other, sometimes for many miles, resound with these voices of wooing.

The specimen of the Wild Turkey presented in this number of Birds is of extraordinary size and beauty, and has been much admired. The day is not far distant when a living specimen of this noble bird will be sought for in vain in the United States.


WILD TURKEYMeleagris gallopava.

Range—Eastern United States from Pennsylvania southward to Florida, west to Wisconsin, the Indian Territory and Texas.

Nest—On the ground, at the base of a bush or tree.

Eggs—Ten to fourteen, pale cream buff, finely and evenly speckled with grayish brown.


Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Lee at LPZoo

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Lee at LPZoo

Lee’s Addition:

Of all clean birds you may eat. (Deuteronomy 14:11 AMP)

The Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the diverse Galliformes and are in the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family. It is the same species as the domestic turkey, which was originally derived from a southern Mexican subspecies of Wild Turkey (not the related Ocellated Turkey). Although native to North America, the Wild Turkey got its name due to the trade routes in place. During the 16th Century, the major trade route from the Americas and Asia required the goods to go to Constantinople in Turkey before being sent to Britain. The British at the time therefore, associated the Wild Turkey with the country Turkey and the name stuck.

Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green legs. The body feathers are generally blackish and dark brown overall with a coppery sheen that becomes more complex in adult males. Adult males, called toms or gobblers, have a large, featherless, reddish head, red throat, and red wattles on the throat and neck. The head has fleshy growths called caruncles. Juvenile males are called jakes, the difference between an adult male and a juvenile is that the jake has a very short beard and his tail fan has longer feathers in the middle. The adult male’s tail fan will be all the same length. When males are excited, a fleshy flap on the bill expands, and this, the wattles and the bare skin of the head and neck all become engorged with blood, almost concealing the eyes and bill. The long fleshy object over a male’s beak is called a snood. When a male turkey is excited, its head turns blue; when ready to fight, it turns red. Each foot has three toes in front, with a shorter, rear-facing toe in back; males have a spur behind each of their lower legs.

Male turkeys have a long, dark, fan-shaped tail and glossy bronze wings. The male is substantially larger than the female, and his feathers have areas of red, purple, green, copper, bronze, and gold iridescence. Females, called hens, have feathers that are duller overall, in shades of brown and gray. The primary wing feathers have white bars. Turkeys have 5000 to 6000 feathers. Tail feathers are of the same length in adults, different lengths in juveniles.

Males typically have a “beard”, a tuft of coarse hair (modified feathers) growing from the center of the breast. Beards average 230 mm (9.1 in) in length. In some populations, females have a beard, usually shorter and thinner than that of the male. The adult male (or “tom”) normally weighs from 5 to 11 kg (11 to 24 lb) and measures 100–125 cm (39–49 in) in length. The adult female (or “hen”) is typically much smaller at 2.5–5.4 kg (5.5–12 lb) and is 76 to 95 cm (30 to 37 in) long. The wings are relatively small, as is typical of the galliform order, and the wingspan ranges from 1.25 to 1.44 m (4 ft 1 in to 4 ft 9 in). The bill is also relatively small. The tarsus of the Wild Turkey is quite long and sturdy. The tail is also relatively long The record-sized adult male Wild Turkey, … weighed 16.85 kg (37.1 lb). While it is usually rather lighter than the waterfowl, after the Trumpeter Swan, the turkey has the second heaviest maximum weight of any North American bird. Going on average mass, several other birds on the continent, including the American White Pelican and the very rare California Condor and Whooping Crane surpass the mean weight of turkeys.

Turkeys have many vocalizations: “gobbles,” “clucks,” “putts,” “purrs,” “yelps,” “cutts,” “whines,” “cackles,” and “kee-kees.” In early spring, male turkeys, also called gobblers or toms, gobble to announce their presence to females and competing males. The gobble can carry for up to a mile. Males also emit a low-pitched “drumming” sound; produced by the movement of air in the air sack in the chest, similar to the booming of a prairie chicken. In addition they produce a sound known as the “spit” which is a sharp expulsion of air from this air sack. Hens “yelp” to let gobblers know their location. Gobblers often yelp in the manner of females, and hens can gobble, though they rarely do so. Immature males, called jakes, often yelp.

(Audio from xeno.canto.org)

Males Displaying:

Female Calling:

Alarm Call by several birds.

Wild turkeys prefer hardwood and mixed conifer-hardwood forests with scattered openings such as pastures, fields, orchards and seasonal marshes. Open, mature forest with a variety of interspersion of tree species appear to be preferred. In the Northeast of North America, turkeys are most profuse in hardwood timber of oak-hickory and forests of red oak, beech, cherry and white ash. Best ranges for turkeys in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont sections have an interspersion of clearings, farms, and plantations with preferred habitat along principal rivers and in cypress and tupelo swamps. Appalachian and Cumberland plateaus, birds occupy mixed forest of oaks and pines on southern and western slopes, also hickory with diverse understories. Bald cypress and sweet gum swamps of s. Florida; also hardwood of Cliftonia in north-central Florida. Lykes Fisheating Creek area of s. Florida has hardwood hammocks, glades of short grasses with isolated live oak; nesting in neighboring prairies. Original habitat here was mainly longleaf pine with turkey oak and slash pine “flatwoods,” now mainly replaced by slash pine plantations.

Wild turkeys are omnivorous, foraging on the ground or climbing shrubs and small trees to feed. They prefer eating hard mast such as acorns, nuts, and various trees, including hazel, chestnut, hickory, and pinyon pine as well as various seeds, berries such as juniper and bearberry, roots and insects. Turkeys also occasionally consume amphibians and small reptiles such as lizards and snakes. Poults have been observed eating insects, berries, and seeds. Wild turkeys often feed in cow pastures, sometimes visit back yard bird feeders, and favor croplands after harvest to scavenge seed on the ground. Turkeys are also known to eat a wide variety of grasses.

Males are polygamous, mating with as many hens as they can. Male wild turkeys display for females by puffing out their feathers, spreading out their tails and dragging their wings. This behavior is most commonly referred to as strutting. Their heads and necks are colored brilliantly with red, blue and white. The color can change with the turkey’s mood, with a solid white head and neck being the most excited. They use gobbling, drumming/booming and spitting as signs of social dominance, and to attract females. Courtship begins during the months of March and April, which is when turkeys are still flocked together in winter areas. (Wikipedia with editing)

This was taken on the Roaring Fork Drive in Gatlinburg, TN last October.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Cerulean Warbler

The Previous Article – The Piping Belted Plover

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Sharing The Gospel

Links:

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Happy Thanksgiving – Turkey

The Fountain re-published this article I wrote back in 2009 and decided to re-post it here also. (with editing) Happy Thanksgiving, 2012!

Today, many of us here in the United States ate turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily, many turkeys will survive our holiday and continue to roam around. Here locally in Polk County, Florida, I see a “rafter” of turkeys (name for a group of turkeys – incorrectly called a “gobble” or “flock”) from time to time. Near Bartow I have seen them many times in rafters up to 11 turkeys. Near Circle B Bar Reserve, I have seen other groups up to 8 turkeys.

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

The domestic turkey is a descendant of the Wild Turkey and features prominently in the menu of the Canadian and U.S. holidays of Thanksgiving and that of Christmas in many countries.

The Turkey is in the Galliformes Order and in the Phasianidae (Pheasants, Fowl & Allies) Family. There are two turkeys – Wild Turkey – Meleagris gallopavo and the Ocellated Turkey – Meleagris ocellata. The Wild is native to North American forrests and the Ocellated is native to the Yucatan Peninsula forrests. They are relatives of the Grouse family. Both Turkeys have a “distinctive fleshy wattle that hangs from the underside of the beak and a fleshy protuberance (flap of skin) that hangs from the top of its beak called a snood.” Turkeys are the heaviest member of the Galliformes order. The females are smaller and duller than the males. The male weighs from 11-24 lbs (5-11 kg) [record=38lbs] and measures 39-49 in (100-125 cm). They also have from 20,000-30,000 feathers.

 Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) ©USFWS

Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) ©USFWS

Congressional Proclamations from CreationWiki.
“The United States Congress set December 18, 1777, as a day of thanksgiving on which the American people “may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor” and on which they might “join the penitent confession of their manifold sins . . . that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance.” Congress also recommends that Americans petition God “to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.'”[1]
Congress set November 28, 1782, as a day of thanksgiving on which Americans were “to testify their gratitude to God for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience to his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.”

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)

See:
WhatBird’s Wild Turkey
Wikipedia’s Wild Turkey and Ocellated Turkey
Video of an Ocellated Turkey and a Wild Turkey displaying on Internet Bird Collection

Thanksgiving Turkey

Tomorrow, many of us here in the United States will be eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily, many turkeys will survive our holiday and continue to roam around. Here locally in Polk County, Florida, I see a “rafter” of turkeys (name for a group of turkeys – incorrectly called a “gobble” or “flock”) from time to time. Near Bartow I have seen them many times in rafters up to 11 turkeys. Near Circle B Bar Reserve, I have seen other groups up to 8 turkeys.

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

The domestic turkey is a descendant of the Wild Turkey and features prominently in the menu of the Canadian and U.S. holidays of Thanksgiving and that of Christmas in many countries.

The Turkey is in the Galliformes Order and in the Phasianidae (Pheasants, Fowl & Allies) Family. There are two turkeys – Wild Turkey – Meleagris gallopavo and the Ocellated Turkey – Meleagris ocellata. The Wild is native to North American forrests and the Ocellated is native to the Yucatan Peninsula forrests. They are relatives of the Grouse family. Both Turkeys have a “distinctive fleshy wattle that hangs from the underside of the beak and a fleshy protuberance (flap of skin) that hangs from the top of its beak called a snood.” Turkeys are the heaviest member of the Galliformes order. The females are smaller and duller than the males. The male weighs from 11-24 lbs (5-11 kg) [record=38lbs] and measures 39-49 in (100-125 cm). They also have from 20,000-30,000 feathers.

 Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) ©USFWS

Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) ©USFWS

Congressional Proclamations from CreationWiki.
“The United States Congress set December 18, 1777, as a day of thanksgiving on which the American people “may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor” and on which they might “join the penitent confession of their manifold sins . . . that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance.” Congress also recommends that Americans petition God “to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.'”[1]
Congress set November 28, 1782, as a day of thanksgiving on which Americans were “to testify their gratitude to God for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience to his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.”

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)

See:
WhatBird’s Wild Turkey
Wikipedia’s Wild Turkey and Ocellated Turkey
Video of an Ocellated Turkey and a Wild Turkey displaying on Internet Bird Collection