Wandering Aimlessly


Bearded Ladies and Ice Jams

by Phil Burkhouse


Last week’s question involved the evolved dinosaur known today as the wild turkey.  The picture depicted a bearded turkey with head erect and turned and asked if the turkey was a gobbler or a hen.

Neophyte turkey hunters might have been uncertain or thought it was a gobbler since it had a 10- to 12-inch beard, but the turkey is actually a bearded lady or hen.  Experienced turkey chasers would glance at the picture and notice several characteristics that identify the bearded bird as a hen.

To begin with the body size and bone structure lack the overall magnitude of a larger bodied boy turkey, but this can be hard to identify, especially if the turkey is alone.  The dead giveaway to sex identification deals with a combination of the beard, head, legs, and chest feather coloration.


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