Here is a close-up photo of a turkey feather (found in the Kinghurst Forest Reserve, Grey County in July, 2014):
I learned that male turkeys have iridescent red, green, copper, bronze and gold feathers. Females have more subtle, brown or gray feathers. This camouflage helps them hide when they sit on their nests. While surfing the web, I read that male and female turkeys can be told apart by their breast feathers. The breast feathers of male turkeys have black tips whereas female turkeys have brown-tipped breast feathers. I will look for this while tracking turkeys next time…
Turkey Track (Lockyer Pits in Orangeville, May 2014).
Turkey Feathers. The feather tips showed signs of being chewed on by a canine since they were crushed at the tips and some were covered in saliva. Alexis Burnett indicated that this occurs when a canine is pulling the feathers out of a turkey so that it can access the meat. (Lockyer Pits in Orangeville, May 2014).
Turkey carcass (Lockyer Pits in Orangeville, May 2014)
Which part of the plant are they eating?
Turkey grazing on Jack in the Pulpit (Kinghurst Forest Reserve, July 2014)
Turkey Scat (Female) (Mono Cliffs Provincial Park, May 2014)
“Different shaped scats are caused by differences in the intestinal systems of male and female turkeys. Male scat tend to be straighter or “J-shaped” while female scat tends toward tight, twisted clumps.” (Bird Tracks and Sign*, page 204)
*Elbroch, M. & Marks, E. 2001, Bird Tracks and Sign, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.
Wild Turkey Roost
While scouting out the Cumnock Forest Tract in preparation for a Tracking Club outing in 2013, we wandered through a maze of thick red osier dogwood. Upon exiting the grove, we discovered a large pile of turkey scat on the ground underneath a tree. We had found a wild turkey roost!