No creature in North America is linked more to healthy forests than the wild turkey. And no creature has the potential to captivate people in all corners of the nation than these great birds.
All animals do of course but some have done a much better of adapting to man’s’ meddling of forest management, invasive exotics, and urban sprawl.
And while there are urban centers where turkeys have adjusted, for the most part unlike whitetail deer and coyotes, turkeys need primo habitat to thrive.
If we can make the woods better for turkeys, it will be better for deer and the threatened Louisiana pine snake and the gopher tortoise and a host of other native wildlife desperately needing healthy ecosystems.
The National Wild Turkey Federation and various state fish and game departments have done an incredible job of turkey restoration and enhancement but they need the public’s help.
I have begun a five-quest to raise awareness of turkey conservation. It began with photographing the Grand Slam (Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam’s) all in 2019.
During 2020 I will be pursuing Gould’s turkeys in New Mexico and Arizona and searching out Merriam’s turkeys at the highest elevations.
If you have an interesting observation on wild turkeys, perhaps see a rare color phase bird or have anything related to them to share email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founding father Benjamin Franklin famously opined that the wild turkey would make a better representative of America than the bald eagle.
After all, eagles are scavengers he said!
While I can’t see an image of the gobbling turkey intimidating America’s enemies, I can see the story of these great birds move the hearts of the public toward wanting healthier forests and more abundant wildlife of all types.
Putting a gobbler on a flag might have been a terrible way to cap the Revolutionary War but for a Turkey Revolution that might actually be pretty cool.
If you would like to help sponsor this revolutionary project, email email@example.com.