Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/44

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16
WILD TURKEY.

by the wives of our squatters and farmers. These tippets, when properly made, are extremely beautiful as well as comfortable.

A long account of the habits of this remarkable bird has already been given in Bonaparte's American Ornithology, vol. i. As that account was in a great measure derived from notes furnished by myself, you need not be surprised, good reader, to find it often in accordance with the above.

Having now said all that I have thought it might be agreeable to you to know of the history and habits of the Wild Turkey, I proceed to the technical description of that interesting bird.


Meleagris Gallopavo, Linn. Syst. Nat. vol. i. p. 268—Lath. Ind. Ornith. p. 618.—Ch. Bonaparte, Synops. of Birds of the United States, p. 122.

Wild Turkey, Ch. Bonaparte, Americ. Ornith. vol. i. p. 79. Pl. ix. Male and Female.

American Turkey, Lath. Synops. vol. ii. p. 676.


Adult Male. Plate I.

Bill shortish, robust, slightly arched, rather obtuse, the base covered by a bare membrane; upper mandible with the dorsal outline arched, the sides convex, the edges overlapping, the tip a little declinate; under mandible somewhat bulging towards the tip, the sides convex. Nostrils situated in the basal membrane, oblique, linear, covered above by a cartilage. Head small, flattened above, with a conical pendulous, erectile caruncle on the forehead. Neck slender. Body robust. Feet longish and strong; tarsus covered anteriorly with numerous transverse scutella, scaly on the sides, scutellate behind; toes scutellate above, scabrous, papillar and flat beneath; hind toe elevated, half the length of the lateral toes, which are nearly equal, and much shorter than the middle toe; claws slightly arched, strong, convex above, obtuse, flat beneath. A conical, rather obtuse spur on the tarsus, about two-thirds down.

Conical papilla of the forehead rugose, sparsely covered with bristles. Head bare, and corrugated, the skin irregularly raised, and covered with a few scattered bristles. External ear margined with short and slender thin feathers. Neck also bare, corrugated, beset anteriorly and below with a series of oblong, irregular, cavernous caruncles, interspersed with small bristly feathers. Plumage in general compact, glossy, with metallic reflections. Feathers double, as in other gallinaceous birds, generally oblong and truncated. A pendulous tuft of long bristles from the upper