Female wild turkeys (hens) are smaller and less iridescent than males. After mating, the females care for the young alone, creating shallow nests on the ground. They lay about 10–14 eggs over a period of days, then incubate them for about a month.
Young turkey and other fowl are called poults. Like those of most other ground-nesting birds, when they first hatch, turkey chicks are covered with downy feathers and are able to run around outside the nest soon after.
Males, and some females, have a tuft of hairlike feathers (called a “beard”) in the middle of the breast. A popular gamebird, the wild turkey is found in mixed forests and grasslands statewide. They forage by scratching in the leaves beneath hedgerows and leafy areas in forests.
Wilson’s snipe, formerly called the common snipe, is a migratory game bird in Missouri. Like its relative the woodcock, this member of the sandpiper family is not usually seen on mudflats. It prefers swamps and wet, grassy areas.
It is easy to see why Wilson’s snipe is included in a group of birds coined “secretive marsh birds.” These birds’ impressive camouflage and relative silence keep them well hidden in the thick vegetation of marshy habitats.
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