Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo Linnaeus, 1758  Synonyms: WITU.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Aves   >   Order Galliformes   >   Family Phasianidae   >   Genus Meleagris   

Status:

The comeback of Wild Turkeys in Maryland has been nothing shy of incredible. Habitat loss from land clearing in the late 1800s left Wild Turkeys nearly extirpated in Maryland and surrounding states. Management efforts in the 1930s were supplemented by widespread release of farm-raised birds, but these efforts failed to create self-sustaining populations and were terminated in 1971. The tide began to turn in 1979, when an intensive effort was launched to relocate wild birds into parts of their former range. Wild Turkeys continue to increase in Maryland and they are now readily detected in all 23 counties. In very recent history they have even colonized Assateague Island!

There are 222 records in the project database.

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Wild Turkeys on Assateague Island, Worcester Co., Maryland (8/24/2016). Photo by Mike Burchett. (MBP list)

Wild Turkeys in Garrett Co., Maryland (3/10/2010). Photo by Dave Kazyak. (MBP list)

Wild Turkeys in Kent Co., Maryland (8/1/2015). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

A Wild Turkey in southern Dorchester Co., Maryland (3/18/2005). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list) (More of this species)

A typical fleeting view of a Wild Turkey in the Nassawango area of Worcester Co., Maryland (10/2006). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list) (More of this species)

A flock of Wild Turkeys in Charles Co., Maryland (8/8/2017). Photo by Jane Chandler. (MBP list)

A hen Wild Turkey in Baltimore Co., Maryland (2/21/2015). Photo by Rob Holtz. (MBP list)

A Wild Turkey roosting high in a tree in Harford Co., Maryland (2/28/2015). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

Wild Turkeys are a rather new phenomenon on Assateague Island. At the 2010 Rarity Roundup, we were fairly shocked to hear that Tom Feild and Jim Moore had found feathers on the north end of the island. One year later, Scott Housten had seen them about 10-12 times on the island. Bill Hubick spotted these five at dawn across from Life of the Marsh in Bayside Campground (11/11/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Wild Turkeys foraging out in the saltmarsh on Assateague Island, Maryland (11/10/2012). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Wild Turkeys in Calvert Co., Maryland (8/30/2015). Photo by Ben Springer. (MBP list)

A Wild Turkey at Point Lookout SP, St. Mary's Co., Maryland (4/14/2012). Photo by Russ Ruffing. (MBP list)

A Wild Turkey in Frederick Co., Maryland (7/5/2014). Photo by Mark Etheridge. (MBP list)

A Wild Turkey nest in Talbot Co., Maryland (5/16/2015). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Wild Turkey eggs found at Andelot Farm in Kent Co., Maryland (6/7/2014). Photo by Sue Muller. (MBP list)

Wild Turkey tracks in the snow in Prince George's Co., Maryland (3/21/2015). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

A decidedly not wild turkey (i.e., domestic turkey) at a roadside in Caroline Co., Maryland (4/9/2010). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Wild Turkey eggs in Talbot Co., Maryland (5/6/2019). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Wild Turkey in Dorchester Co., Maryland (5/25/2017). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

A female Wild Turkey with young in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/15/2008). Photo from motion-activated camera placed by Zoe Hanley and Julia Smith during their bobcat/fisher study while graduate students at Frostburg State University. Photo by Boyer and McDowell. (MBP list)


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