Feb 04 2011

Anatomy: He Has a Beard

Published by at 6:30 am under Bird Anatomy,Doves & Chickens

Even though this turkey's chin is scruffy, that's not where his beard is. 

The "beard" on a wild turkey is that cluster of long hairlike feathers sticking out of the center of his chest.  They average nine inches long. 

Generally only male turkeys have beards but 10 to 20 percent of female turkeys grow them as well.  This poses a problem for those ladies during Spring Gobbler hunting season when only bearded (i.e. male) turkeys can be hunted. 

Don't worry about this turkey, though.  He's probably safe all year long because he's a regular in Cris Hamilton's back yard.

(photo by Cris Hamilton)

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Anatomy: He Has a Beard”

  1. faith cornellon 04 Feb 2011 at 2:54 pm

    even tho we live in populated Bridgeville, we have a flock of turkeys we see almost everyday, must be almost 15-20, couple with beards, just so cocky leading the ladies around. They are used to people, will actually come up fairly close to you, they only scatter when the cars come into the parking lot. Its a wonderful spectacle during the gloomy winter days.

  2. Stephenon 04 Feb 2011 at 4:22 pm

    That bird has a long way to go before he has a Brett Keisel beard.

  3. Anne Curtison 05 Feb 2011 at 12:59 am

    Yeah! Go Steelers!

    Years ago, we were at my husband’s parents’ house in Sharon PA when a male turkey wandered into their garage. We closed the door because, city folk that we are, we thought someone had shot an arrow through the poor bird’s neck. We called everywhere! Animal control was closed on Sunday. PA Dept of Wildlife-Conservation-whatever was not helpful.

    Eventually, after crapping all over his dad’s car, the healthy and not-wounded male exited through a back window! Tim and his brother spent the rest of the afternoon replacing the window and washing the car so his dad wouldn’t tell us what fools we were for not knowing a “beard” was normal. Yeah, we were fools!


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