A Look at Florida's Osceola Wild Turkey

>The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey is one of the most popular of the wild turkeys. The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey is also known by its scientific name, which is Meleagris gallopavo osceola. The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey can only be found in the peninsula of Florida. The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey is similar to the eastern wild turkey in some respects, but with many important physical traits that distinguishes this important subspecies

The Namesake of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey

The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey was named after the famous Seminole Chief, Osceola. W.E.D. Scott first described the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey in the year1890. Chief Osceola is famous for leading his tribe against invading Americans in a twenty-year war that began in 1835.

Physical Characteristics of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey

The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey is very similar to the eastern wild turkey in several respects. The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey tends to be much smaller and darker in color than the eastern wild turkey. However, the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey also tends to have less white veining in its wing quills. The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey tends to display white bars in its feathers. The white bars are often broken, narrow and generally irregular in design. This design does not generally extend all the way to the feather shaft. Another characteristic of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey is that the black bars also tend to predominate the feather. Most of the secondary feathers of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey also tend to be dark in color. An easy way to distinguish the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey with the eastern wild turkey is to study the wings. When the wings are folded back on the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey, there should not appear any light triangular patches. The eastern wild turkey, on the other hand, does tend to have these whitish triangular patches.

The Distinct Plumage of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey

The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey has very distinct plumage that makes it easy to distinguish from other turkey subspecies. The feathers of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey tend to display green and red iridescent colors. The colors of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey show less bronze than the eastern wild turkey. The tail coverts has a dark color, while the large tail feathers of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey are dipped in brown, similar to the eastern wild turkey. Most other western subspecies display lighter colors in these areas. The behavior and colorations of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey are considered to be ideal for the flat pinewoods, palmetto hammocks, oak and the swamps of its native Florida habitat. In general, the adult female turkeys, also known as hens, are similar to the males in coloration and patterns. However, hens tend to have lighter or duller colors all around, except in the wing feather region. Hens tend to display darker wing feathers, however.

Reproductive Cycle of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey

The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey has a reproductive cycle that begins a little earlier than the eastern wild turkey. The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey also has a reproductive cycle that begins earlier than other Southern states. The Florida Osceola Wild Turkey population in southern Florida is sometimes active during warm spells in January. Florida Osceola Wild Turkey has been known to gobble during these warm spells, although actual mating does not begin until several weeks later. Most Florida Osceola Wild Turkey will lay eggs during April. The cycle of egg laying and hatching is active throughout spring. Most egg lying of the Florida Osceola Wild Turkey is in April.