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File:Ocellated turkey.jpg


The ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata) is a conspicuous, vibrant-coloured bird that can be easily distinguished from the only other turkey species, its larger and less colourful North American cousin, the North American wild turkey (Maleagris gallopavo). The body plumage of both males and females is a striking mix of iridescent bronze and green colour, although females often appear duller than males, with a greener rather than bronze tinge. Both sexes have bluish-grey tails feathers with a distinctive, blue-bronze coloured ocellus (eye-shaped spot) near the end, from which the species derives its common name, followed by a bright gold tip. The brilliant blue head and neck of both sexes feature distinctive orange to red, warty, caruncle-like growths, called nodules, although these are more pronounced on males. Males also possess a fleshy blue crown adorned with yellow-orange nodules, which become more prominent during the breeding season. During this time an eye-ring of bright red skin also becomes especially visible on adult males. The deep red, short, thin legs and feet of males sport impressive spurs, which are much longer than those of the North American wild turkey.



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