Rio Grande Wild Turkeys

For Thanksgiving Day, of course, what else? There is a corner of the corn on the north extension loop at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico that has been knocked down by Javelina, and the low hanging cobs have attracted the Refuge’s flock of Rio Grande Wild Turkeys. They were there most days I made the loop. The Rio Grande is one of 6 subspecies of Wild Turkey in the US, and it is the one you would expect at the Bosque, along the banks of the Rio Grande River. However it is also the species found through west Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, as well as being introduced in California, Oregon, and Washington state. It is occupies more territory than any other sub-species except the much more populous and wide-spread Eastern Wild Turkey. If you take a close look at the images you will see that several birds are sporting “beards”…long streamers of chest feathers. These are most likely males, or Toms, but hen turkeys do develop shorter beards so it is not certain. They look long enough to be males to me. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.

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