Last Thursday, Mrs. Sullivan’s students learned about turkeys! Mrs. Sullivan’s husband, Turkey Jay, is considered an expert in turkeys. The students asked questions and Turkey Jay answered. Unfortunately, he was unable to join us in class or by video (he’s camera shy). But, Mrs. Sullivan got the answers and presented the information to the class.
We not only learned about turkey habitats but also a lot more! Students got to see real turkey spurs which the part of their body they use to protect themselves. It is only the males that have the spurs. They also got to see a real turkey beard! Check out the turkey beard on the picture above. Can you see it on the turkey’s chest? Typically only male birds have beards, but did you know that sometimes a female can grow a beard too? (About 10-20%).
A male turkey’s head can change colour (red, blue, white) to reflect its mood. The red flap of skin only exists over a male’s beak and is called a snood. As well only males fan their tail feathers to try to attract a female. They also puff out their other feathers to make themselves look bigger!
Did you know that there are an estimated 70 000 turkeys in Ontario? They were hunted to extinction about 100 years ago but were reintroduced to Ontario in the early 1980s. Check out the full article here to learn more.
Here are many of the questions the students wanted answers to from Turkey Jay:
- Where do they live?
- What do they eat?
- Do they fly? swim?
- What do they do all day?
- Where do they sleep?
- Are they like chickens?
- Where do they keep their nests?
- How can you tell if it’s a boy or a girl?
- What is the red flap on a turkey’s face?
- Why do turkeys fan their tail feathers?
Ask your child what else they learned about turkeys.
What other questions do you have for Turkey Jay?
Do you like to eat turkey at certain times of the year?