The eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) is the most widely distributed, abundant and hunted subspecies of the five distinct subspecies found in the United States. It inhabits roughly the eastern half of the country.
Adult male: Gobbler or tom
Height and Weight: Up to 4 ft. tall weighing more than 20 lbs.
Coloring: Its upper tail coverts, which cover the base of the long tail feathers, are tipped with chestnut brown and its tail feathers are tipped with dark buff or chocolate brown. In contrast, its breast feathers are tipped in black. Rich, metallic, and copper/bronze iridescence characterize other body feathers. The primary wing feathers have white and black bars that extend from the outer edge of each all the way to the shaft. Secondary wing feathers have prominent white bars and are edged in white, producing a whitish triangular area on each side of the back when the wings are folded on the back.
Adult female: Hen
Height and Weight: Almost as tall as the tom but weighing between 8-12 lbs.
Coloring: Similar in color but more brown, and the metallic reflections are less brilliant. Feathers of the hen's breast, flanks and sides are tipped with brown rather than the black and white tips of the male.
Eastern preferred habitat: The eastern wild turkey is found in hardwood and mixed forests from New England and southern Canada and northern Florida in the east to Texas, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota in the west.
Preferred habitat: The eastern wild turkey is found in hardwood and mixed forests from New England and southern Canada and northern Florida in the east to Texas, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota in the west.