Wild Turkey Royal Slam

The Wild Turkey Royal Slam includes all of the species in the Grand Slam, plus a Gould’s wild turkey.

The Wild Turkey Royal Slam includes all of the species in the Grand Slam, plus a Gould’s wild turkey.

Gould’s Wild Turkey

Needed for the Wild Turkey Royal Slam, the Gould’s turkey is the largest of the 5 subspecies and somewhat resembles the Merriam’s turkey. They have longer legs, larger feet, and larger center tail feathers than any of the other wild turkey subspecies in North America. Gould’s differ by having distinctive white tips on the tail feathers and tail rump coverts which usually separate to show an “eyelash” appearance. Lower back and rump feathers have copper and greenish-golden reflections, not like the faintly iridescent velvety black found on the Merriam’s. Gould’s body plumage is said to be somewhat blue-green in coloration. Adult females have a less pronounced metallic greenish and reddish sheen and are more purplish.

The Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in Mexico are the center of the Gould’s turkey Mexican range, extending south from the U.S./Mexico border. Populations exist in Chihuahua, Sonora, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Jalisco and Coahuila. In the U.S. Gould’s turkeys are found in the Animas and San Luis mountains of New Mexico and in the Peloncillo Mountains of New Mexico and Arizona. Mountain ranges where Gould’s are found orient north and south with elevations ranging from 4,500 to 6,500 feet in the U.S. and over 9,800 feet in Mexico. Turkey habitat can be rough with steep and rocky canyons.

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