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View count:157,576
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Duration:03:43
Uploaded:2017-11-16
Last sync:2019-11-30 15:30
Jessi and Squeaks learn some amazing turkey facts, from the sounds they make to what their poop looks like!

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SOURCES:

http://www.kidzone.ws/animals/turkey.htm
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/w/wild-turkey/
http://mentalfloss.com/article/59748/10-turkey-myths-debunked
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/14-fun-facts-about-turkeys-665520/
http://www.cbc.ca/news/the-skinny-on-snoods-wattles-and-wishbones-1.825812
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/release/2003/11/osu-animal-scientist-debunks-dumb-turkey-myth
(Intro)

There are lots of great fall decorations out in our neighborhood, and one of the most common ones Squeaks and I see are turkeys.  You might know that turkeys are connected with Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada, and people sometimes raise them on their farms, but did you know that there are also wild turkeys and they're pretty cool birds.  There are lots of other fun things to know about turkeys, too, from the sounds they make to how they eat to the little flaps of skin on their beaks.  

You might already know one of the sounds a turkey makes.  On the count of three, let's all try to make that sound.  Ready, one, two, three: gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble.  Did you make a sound like this?  Yes, turkeys say something that sounds like gobble gobble, but not all of them.  Only the toms, the male turkeys, make that famous gobbling sound, and they only make it some of the time.  Both tom turkeys and female turkeys, called hens, can make other sounds, too, like this (chirping sound) and this (pecking sound).  So if you ever hear a turkey make that gobble gobble sound, you know it's a tom turkey.  

And I'm going to let you in on another secret about how to tell the toms and hens apart.  Look at their poop.  Yes, their poop.  If a pile of turkey poop looks like a spiral, it came from a hen.  If it looks more like the letter 'J' or a question mark, then it came from a tom turkey.  One thing that's the same about tom and hen turkeys is what they eat.

Adult turkeys munch on things like berries and seeds and even sometimes small animals like salamanders, but like all birds, turkeys don't have teeth, so they can't chew up their food the way we do.  Instead, they have another body part that kind of does the same thing.  It's called a gizzard and it's a really important body part for turkeys and other birds.  The gizzard is a small pouch that has a lot of muscle, and if we could see inside of the turkey's body, we can see that the gizzard is right here.  A turkey's gizzard is full of tiny stones and pieces of other hard things like gravel.  The turkey picks up these hard pieces from the ground and swallows them, and they stay in the gizzard.  If a human tried to swallow a stone, it would be dangerous, but for a turkey, the stones in its gizzard act like teeth.  When food gets into the gizzard, the muscles of the gizzard squeeze it, mixing the food with the stones inside.  This mashes the food up and grinds it into smaller pieces.  Then, the turkey can use it for energy.  

The gizzard is just one of the neat body parts that a turkey has and like the word 'gizzard', they're also pretty fun to say.  Turkeys have two special body parts on their head.  The flap of skin that hangs over the turkey's beak is called a 'snood', and the skin around the turkey's neck is called its 'waddle'.  Bird experts can tell a lot about how a turkey is feeling by looking at its snood and its waddle.  The snood and waddle are normally kind of pink or red in color, but if the turkey's not feeling well, its snood and waddle get lighter in color and if the turkey is scared, they can even turn blue.  

Okay, time for one more turkey fact.  You might have heard that turkeys are not very smart.  Well, that's not true.  Turkeys can be just as smart as other animals.  They can learn to get along with people and other animals and they can even learn from each other.

So now you know all about Thanksgiving's famous bird, the turkey.  Thanks for joining us.  If you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button and we'll see you next time here at the Fort.

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