Turkey Talk: An inside look at Thomas Gobbles

(Casper, Wyo.) - We caught up with the young, wild,and free turkey, Thomas Gobbles this morning proudly strutting his feathers down Wolcott Street. While Tom admired our Oil Rig we learned from him and Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Management Coordinator Justin Binfet about his life. Binfet reported to us that their are five species of turkeys in North America including: - Merriam's - Rio Grande - Gould's - Osceola's -only found in Florida - Ocellated He told us that Tom was most likely a Rio Grande turkey, but he may be a bit of a hybrid between a Merriam and Rio Grande. Binfet informed us that one can identify turkey types by the terminal band on the tail feathers, Rio Grande turkeys display a gold/tan color while Merriam's are pure white. "There have been numerous reports of turkeys in Casper city limits for quite a while; this one was most likely drawn in from people feeding him, which we don't recommend," he said. "Wild turkeys are not native to Wyoming. They were introduced in the 1930s. In the 1950s another species of turkeys were introduced to Wyoming from a trade with Oklahoma." It was also reported that turkeys are the largest game bird in North America, and Ben Franklin once lobbied to make the turkey the national bird instead of the bald eagle. Tom stated that he would have been happily named the national bird. Binfet continued, "Just looking at the picture, it would appear that this turkey is about a year and a half years old, and he was born in the Spring of 2014. He is just past being called a Jake, but not quite a Tom. This Spring will be his first mating season as a mature Tom." This morning Tom was boosting and puffing his feathers, and Binfet reported that he was most likely practicing for the future and working his feathers to perfection. "Sometimes the amount of day light affects their hormones. More daylight triggers an urge to strut and puff up their feathers." Binfet concluded reminding the public to be careful around Tom and to not feed him, as turkey populations are known to increase rapidly and become a nuisance. Tom declined to comment on the accusation. #oilcity #news #thanksgiving