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Merriams or Goulds?

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by seaduck, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Hi:
    I create taxidermy reference photo cd's and ran across a problem I thought some of you may be able to help me with. Living in Alaska I don't know my turkeys very well. I photographed these turkeys last fall in eastern Texas. It was in a wild setting but it was at a large drive through safari type park. So I don't know if they are native or not. The sun makes the white on the tails etc. look a little brighter than it actually is also. I'll add three or four pictures to see if anyone can help. I would like to list it on my website but I don't want to list it as the wrong species. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Phil.
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  5. JonHarleTX

    JonHarleTX Ya'll hear that. George just signed in. Quick Hide

    Well I'm almost 100% sure that neither Merriam's or Gould's are native to East Texas.. Every now and then an Eastern will pop up in the East, just as every now and then a Merriam's will pop up in the far west of the state.. but as a general rule, Rio's are what we have here.. I would call the park you photographed them at, as I'm sure they would know.

  6. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    They appear to have reasonably well-developed spurs and that would make me think that they are Merriam's or maybe Merriam's x Rios.
    The pure Gould's turkeys usually don't get much in the way of spurs. Sometimes they have nothing but smooth little buttons where the spurs should be.
    Also, I don't know of any captive-bred Gould's that are available. 'Not saying there aren't any - just that they are the least-represented (in captivity) of all the subspecies.
  7. Jon:
    Thanks for your input. You know that never even dawned on me. I guess I thought that they know their prize possesions very well (african) and if the turkeys were planted they just put them in for ornamental purposes. I never thought that they may know their turkeys as well. Very good idea. Thanky You. Phil.
  8. Thanks Nancy:
    I just checked a closer photo of the feet and the one I looked at had spurs around 1" to an 1 1/2" long. So if the Goulds don't really have spurs it must be a Merriams or a cross. Thank you. Phil.
  9. drakeman

    drakeman Active Member

  10. KAMoHunter

    KAMoHunter Proud member of the WVTA

    that real pronounced white on the tail makes me think more rio grande than anything.
  11. JonHarleTX

    JonHarleTX Ya'll hear that. George just signed in. Quick Hide

    Both Gould's and Merriam's will be brighter white than a Rio in the first place. With the Gould's being the larger bird with a slightly larger white tail band. The latter only being noticeable in hand.

    I doubt these are Rios
  12. SteveP

    SteveP New Member

    According to the NWTF information... Well, heck, I'd say they are Merriam's.

    "Adult males are clearly distinguished from the eastern, Florida and Rio Grande by the nearly white feathers on the lower back and tail feather margins. Merriam's closely resemble the Gould's turkey, but its tail margin is not usually quite as pure white nor is the lighter margin of the tail tip quite as wide."
  13. platzy

    platzy New Member

    I'm 99% sure those are Rio's the other 1% is leading towards Hybrid. Not merriams or goulds for sure. Rio's are the most colorful in the breast feathers than any other species. These turkey's show a great deal of color and they also have more tanish white on the tips of the tails. If they were true merriams or gould's they would be pure white.
  14. They are Rio"s. We do have some Merriams but they are in the Big Bend mountains.
  15. look like meriams, but also look like rios
  16. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

    Rio Grande pic
  17. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

    Picture number 1 & 4 I think looks like a domsetic turkey head, being Standard Bronze turkey. The crown on a wild I have noticed are more defined as well as the wattles,dewlap, and carnucles. The domestic is bigger and everything hangs more and I feel are less defined. I have raised both and this is what I believe I have seen. I am by no means an expert but rather a turkey enthusiest that tries to learn and study turkeys as well as raising a few. All the pics are some reference to others to learn and see. Again just my opinion and not the answer to species. If these happen to be a wild bird I would have to go with Merriams but in Texas????. One other fact is the feet. MY Domestic have stayed greyish brown toned. Wild more pink redish tone.
  18. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

    Standard Bronze
  19. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!

  20. Gobblingfever

    Gobblingfever 100% PEER GOBBLER ADDICTION!!!!