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In kicking off our new website, we'd like to stay with tradition and have our original designer and co-founder of Brackish Ben Ross drop some turkey knowledge.
There are 5 subspecies of turkeys found in the U.S. with a 6th found primarily in Mexico. In the U.S. there are the Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam, and Gould. The Eastern is found along the east coast down into north Florida and as far west as Nebraska. The Osceola is found only in Florida mainly in the middle portion of the state continuing southward. One way to differentiate between the Osceola and Eastern is the feathers on the wing. The "barring" on the wing feather of an Eastern bird have a good amount of white between the black stripes while on the Osceola the white area is much smaller and sometimes almost non existent.
The Rio Grande are found mainly in Texas as well as some surrounding areas and parts of California. One way to identify them is the golden brown fan feathers. The Merriam is found in the western states, characterized by beautiful white fan feathers found at the base of the fan. This trait makes them the easiest of all the subspecies to identify. The Gould is found in New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Mexico. They are by far the largest of all the subspecies of turkeys.
Finally, the Ocellated turkey is found in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico as well as parts of Belize and Guatemala. They are known for tail feather spots similar to those seen on peacock feathers. This led some scientists to once believe the ocellated was more related to peafowl than turkeys.
One of our customers pointed out that Benjamin Franklin had originally wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird. When one sees a male in full strut it's no surprise he thought the birds beauty was unmatched by any other! Also when you consider the turkey's above average intelligence and their renowned sense of sight and hearing, I think 'ol Ben was on to something!
Thanks for all your support thus far, we hope you enjoy the new site!