Monday, March 29, 2010

The other turkey

There are two species of turkey in the Americas - the familiar, wide-ranging Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, and another, far less common species.

I saw the other turkey on my recent Guatemala trip, and saw it well.

A gorgeous male Ocellated Turkey, Meleagris ocellata, struts his stuff. Click on the photo to blow it up and admire the intricate details of its plumage. Ocellateds are showier than Wild Turkeys; nearly peacocklike in their fanciness.

Ocellated Turkeys have a very limited distribution, being confined to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and adjacent Belize and Guatemala. This bird was photographed at Tikal in the Peten Department of northern Guatemala. Turkeys, and all wildlife, is protected within Tikal and the turkeys are now just as bold as you can imagine.


Just as it is here in Ohio, it's gobbling season for stud Ocellated Turkeys. They sound a bit like amplified bongo drums. Check the above video to see a performance.


Janet Creamer said...

Haha! He must think you are a turkey :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a handsome dude.

Jim McCormac said...

Yes, he seemed to be displaying to me. Not sure whether I should be flattered or not!


rebecca said...

Wow, I didn't even know there was a second species of turkey! What a gorgeous bird.