Upon hearing the word “turkey,” you might immediately picture the mouthwatering dish frequently served at Thanksgiving. The Ocellated turkey is a different variety of turkey you might need to become more familiar with. This impressive bird is noted for its distinguishing features, which include a blue head embellished with red and orange nodules, a multicoloured coat, and a unique tail that mimics the plumes of a peacock
Source: Tim Proffitt-White
The ocellated turkey, or Meleagris ocellata, is a distant relative of the turkey eaten at Thanksgiving and is one of only two varieties of turkey in the world. This large bird lives in an area covering 50,000 square miles in the Yucatán Peninsula, notably in the states of Quintana Roo, Campeche, and Yucatan and some parts of southern Tabasco and northern Chiapas.
Source: William Nicholas
The ocellated turkey is a stunning bird with an eye-catching appearance that is difficult to miss. On top of their heads, male birds have a blue crown with nodules that gets brighter during the breeding season. Both sexes of the birds have a bronze-green metallic coat, but the males are noticeably more colourful.
Ocellated turkeys, albeit more significant than other birds, are substantially smaller than their Wild Turkey ancestors that live in North America. Before laying eggs, adult hens only weigh about 8 lbs.
These birds are hard to notice and like to conceal from humans. They forage in small groups in scrubby and forested regions, feeding on seeds, berries, insects, and plants. To obtain more food, they may occasionally go to neighbouring farms.
Every time, female Ocellated Turkeys lay 8–15 eggs. The babies emerge from the womb after 28 days of incubation and remain under their mother’s care until they are adults.
Sadly, due to Central America’s long history of slash-and-burn agriculture, the Ocellated turkey is suffering from habitat loss.
Understanding the Ocellated turkey is worthwhile since it is a stunning bird. If you’re fortunate enough to see one of these uncommon animals, stop to admire its distinctive features and fascinating behaviour. Give this information to your loved ones and friends, and browse other articles on our website for more intriguing news and tales!