Turkey Guide 2016

Access digital copies of guides and regulations publications from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Issue link: http://digital.outdoornebraska.gov/i/615294

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Page 25 of 27

26 | Turkey Hunting Information: 402-471-0641 Size: The wild turkey is the largest of North America's game birds. Feathers: Males: Gobblers have iridescent red, green, copper, bronze and gold feathers. They use these bright colors to great advantage when attracting females during breeding season. Females: Hens have drab, usually brown or gray feathers. They make great camouflage and hide hens when they sit on their nests. Color Phases: A few wild turkeys grow unusually-colored feathers. These are known as color phases. There are four color phases: smokey-gray color phase, a black color phase (melanistic), a reddish color phase (erythritic) and a white color phase (domestic hybrid, leucistic or albino). Head: Males: Males have brightly colored, nearly featherless heads. During breeding season, the color of their heads alternates between red, white and blue, often changing in a few seconds. Hens: A hen's head is grayish-blue and has some small feathers for camouflage. Caruncles and Snoods: Both males and females have fleshy growths on their necks known as caruncles. They also both have snoods, fleshy protrubances that hang over their bills and can be extended or contracted at will. The snood of an adult male is usually much larger than that of a female. (Source: National Wild Turkey Federation, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission) Adult males, known as toms or gobblers, normally weigh between 16 and 24 pounds. Females, known as hens, are smaller than males and usually weigh between 8 and 10 pounds. Cover Photo: NGPC/NEBRASKAland Magazine WILD TURKEY IDENTIFICATION

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