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Audubon's Wild Turkey

Learn how turkeys cross rivers!
© John James Audubon View Large

In the early 1800s, John James Audubon wrote: "The great size and beauty of the Wild Turkey, its value as a delicate and highly prized article of food... render it one of the most interesting of the birds indigenous to the United States of America." Read Audubon's description of how Wild Turkeys, which walk more than they fly, cross a river.

During this season of thanks, we're grateful for Audubon's monumental work!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
Audubon’s Wild Turkey

Adapted by Chris Peterson

 This is BirdNote!
 [Call of the Wild Turkey]
 In the early 1800s, John James Audubon wrote:
“The great size and beauty of the Wild Turkey, its value as a delicate and highly prized article of food… render it one of the most interesting of the birds indigenous to the United States of America.”
 [Call of the Wild Turkey]
He describes how Wild Turkeys, which walk more than they fly, cross a river. 
“When they come upon a river, they betake themselves to the highest eminences, and there often remain a whole day, or sometimes two, as if for the purpose of consultation. During this time, the males are heard gobbling, calling, and making much ado, and are seen strutting about, as if to raise their courage to a pitch befitting the emergency. At length… the whole party mounts to the tops of the highest trees…[and] takes flight for the opposite shore. The old and fat birds easily get over, even should the river be a mile in breadth; but the younger and less robust frequently fall into the water,--not to be drowned, however, as might be imagined. They bring their wings close to their body. stretch forward their neck, and… proceed rapidly towards the shore…”
[Loud splashing and sounds of a river followed by wild turkey calls]
You can see Audubon’s painting of the Wild Turkey – the first and most famous illustration of his monumental work, The Birds of America — on our website, birdnote.org.
                                                                            ###

Call of the Wild Turkey provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Recorded by G.A. Keller
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org   November 2016 Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# WITU-03-2009-11-26-MS            (http://www.audubon.org/bird/boa/F30_G1a.html)

 

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