Species > Wild Turkeys > Eastern Turkeys

Eastern Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) (Viellot, 1817)

This was the turkey species first encountered in the wild by the Puritans, the founders of Jamestown, and the Acadians; its range is one of the largest of all subspecies. The natural range covers the entire eastern half of the United States from Maine in the north to northern Florida and extending as far west as Michigan, Illinois, and into Missouri. In Canada its range extends into Southeastern Manitoba, all of Ontario, all of Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces. They number from 5.1 to 5.3 million birds. They were first named 'forest turkey' in 1817, and can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. The upper tail coverts are tipped with chestnut brown. Males can reach 30 pounds (14 kg) in weight. The Eastern Wild Turkey is heavily hunted in the Eastern USA and is the most hunted wild turkey subspecies.

 

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