Once on the verge on the verge of extinction in the early 1900s, with only about 200,000 birds left, wild turkeys have made an incredible comeback. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service credits “conservation efforts over the past century, with funds derived from the Pittman-Robertson Act … and thanks to sportsmen and women, there are approximately 6.5 million wild birds in the United States today, according to the National Wild Turkey Federation.”

Did you know? That Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey should be our national bird, not the eagle? That turkeys “can clock 18 miles per hour on foot and up to 50 miles per hour in flight.” And can you guess how many feathers are on this bird?

Read “Wild Facts about Wild Turkeys” at the USFW site.

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), photographed in Eastern United States. Public Domain image,