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PostSubject: HISTORY - TALKING TURKEY   October 28th 2015, 9:56 pm

HISTORY - TALKING TURKEY

Saw an article in the local paper about "Talking Turkey", how appropriate this close to the Holiday’s to write about our American Holiday’s and our American Bird.

Before European colonization of North America there were no turkeys outside the Western Hemisphere. There are only two species of turkeys in the world, and several sub-species off of them several centuries later - originally there was our familiar wild turkey in the United States and Mexico, and the smaller ocellated turkeys in subtropical lowlands of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.

When the Spanish colonized Mexico, they discovered the wild turkeys kept as domestic animals by the Indians of Mexico. Archaeological evidence found in Anasazi ruins in the Four Corners region told of people of the Southwest having domesticated turkeys at least 1,300 years ago. The Spanish were intrigued by these big meaty poultry birds and shipped them to their homeland in early 1500's, along with other native American foods that have become world dietary staples, such as tomatoes, chiles and onions.

The Spaniards soon found the habits of the big bird were predictable and their liking for and being nut-eaters, making trapping them in the oak brush of the Southwest easy. Although being wary and secretive, their roosting habits made capturing them easy for these early explorers.

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