Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wild Turkeys

Although it's difficult to make out, there are several "normal colored" wild turkeys
around this unusual white one.  I count at least four; one to the right and three to the left of the white turkey.

A few weeks ago, the Chesapeake Bay Children and I were invited to a Sunday dinner down Onemo.  After supper we went riding around and happened upon a flock of wild turkeys.

Wild turkeys are not an unusual sight around here, but what was unusual was the one white bird in the group.

I've never seen a white, wild turkey before. Or a wild, white turkey.  I've never seen a wild turkey that was white.  Or something...all of a sudden I can almost guess the joke Deltaville Jamie is going to make about a white turkey.  But I digress...

Anyway our dinner hosts, both of whom work for the Fish and Wildlife Service, had never seen a white, wild turkey (other than this particular one) before.

So just what makes this wild turkey so white?

Leucism?   This site  references a condition called leucism, which is "a very unusual condition whereby the pigmentation cells in an animal or bird fail to develop properly," resulting in "unusually white patches...or, rarely, completely white creatures."

Albino?  If it were albino, according to that same site, there would be pink or red eyes, and I can't tell what color the eyes are here.  Regardless, albino doesn't sound right in this instance.

Mixed breed?   This site  talks about a Narragansett turkey, which is a cross between the Eastern wild turkey and the domesticated turkeys brought to Colonial America.  However, any pictures I found in a quick Google search didn't really look like the one below.

Does it matter?  In the end I'm just thankful to have spent an evening with friends and turkeys.

Anyone know anything about wild turkeys and why we might have a white one in our midst?

All this turkey talk reminds me that we're almost a week away from Thanksgiving.
Where did the year go?

13 comments:

deborah said...

Talking turkey are we? :))
I've never seen a white wild turkey or a wild white turkey. Very interesting, and to see that you captured a picture of one is even more interesting!
Glad you had a nice dinner with friends and turkeys!

Kay L. Davies said...

I used to have friends who were turkeys. Even had some friends who were wild turkeys, most of them white, as it happened, but that certainly wasn't a requirement, either as friends or as turkeys.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

BayBrowder said...

You are right, there are lots of turkeys in Mathews County....and most don't have feathers. We love it here. We fit right in.

BayBrowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deltaville Jamie said...

White Turkeys and Man Pigs are synonymous. I'm leaning towards narragansett for your white turkey explanation.

Windsmurf said...

We have a lot of wild turkeys around here at the top of the Chesapeake Bay too, some of them with feathers. I haven't ever seen a white wild one before though. Thanks for sharing the pictures of yours. Narragansett looks to be the most likely explanation. Probably a Thanksgiving escapee from years past. Occaisionally they do escape from "Turkey shoots".

Daryl said...

I have no idea but my dad was extremely fair skinned with light blond hair and blue eyes, not quite Albino but very close ... and growing up his nickname (given to him by his older brother and a brother-in-law) was White Turkey or Wassa Indik .. thanks for the memory jog

Middle Sis said...

I found some pictures of similar white turkeys on this page:

http://www.fishpondinfo.com/birds/turkphoto.htm

It also looks like you can post turkey pictures there, if you contact the author.

I also found a comment from an article on someone seeing a white wild turkey that said that they knew a farmer who had turkeys on his farm. Occasionally, he would release a white one with a flock of wild ones, so that when hunting, he could find the birds better (because the white ones are easier to see). But, whatever the case, it does appear that there are some wild white turkeys out there.....sort of like Gustav with his buds from the North.

-Middle Sis :-)

growing wild on waverly lane said...

That poor turkey won't last long in the wild, being too easy to spot by predators and knuckle dragging hunters.

Being different is Hell in this world.

Dghawk4 said...

Wow! I've never seen a wild turkey that was white, either. In fact, turkey is the only critter I haven't seen here. Had plenty of them at the old house though.

Mental P Mama said...

Wait. Where has Gustav been?

Country Girl said...

In the end I'm just thankful to have spent an evening with friends and turkeys.

Priceless.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Mmmmmm, turkey.