turkey side_PS_IR.jpg

We were just talking about how we would love to see some different animals.   It’s not that I don’t love our deer and elk, but it would be nice to expand my wildlife photos.  Fortunately these turkey were very accommodating.

turkey front_IR.jpg

Turkey are generally very elusive.  I don’t know how many times we have spotted them and I trekked over the forest trying to chase them down, and never saw them again.  Now that I think about it, that sounds pretty silly.

turkey crane_IR.jpg

These turkey (we saw 2), were most likely males.  You can see what looks like a tuft of elk hair sticking out of their chest, called a beard, which means they were probably males.  Although, oddly, about 10% of females also have the beards.  They also had blue cheeks and a dark almost metallic chest which are other indicators of a male.

turkey talk_IR.jpg

Most turkey found in AZ are Merriam turkeys.  However, these were the largest turkey’s I have ever seen… most we see are much scrawnier.  A Gould turkey is more rare as they became mostly extinct and are only slowly making a comeback in AZ, NM, and Mexico.  The Gould turkey is slightly larger than the Merriam turkey, and has white tipped tail feathers, which these have.


Whichever variety they were, I has thrilled to have the opportunity to photograph them.


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