The rugged, mountainous valleys of the Okanogan Highlands is rich in wildlife with many species of large, upland birds – this subspecies, named the Merriam's Wild Turkeys (named in 1900 in honor of Clinton Hart Merriam, the first chief of the U.S. Biological Survey) live in Ponderosa Pine forests. If you count closely you’ll be able to see all 18 tail feathers (indicating full maturity). The tail and lower back feathers have white tips and purple and bronze reflections. Just after this photo we heard the toms gobbling in the forest on the nearby mountain slope. Gobbling can happen at all times of the year but the active toms will begin the heaviest early April through early June.
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