(Issued May 13, 2017) You’d think our Male Wild Turkeys would get exhausted from putting on seemingly endless performances of The Strut. These faux peacocks actually are performing an engineering and chemical feat.
They’re flexing an interconnected series of muscles in their skin to erect imbedded body and tail feathers – try to picture a pumped up body builder flexing in unison his trapezius, triceps, biceps and latissimus dorsi muscles; now attach feathers to him that can billow into three times his body size, then ask him to repeat the pose hundreds of times a day for weeks. The Toms also are simultaneously contracting blood vessels in their heads to change skin color and lengthen their snoods. All for “love” (attracting hens) and “hate” (warning away other Toms). (Brooklin, Maine)