Turkeys Turkeys Turkeys!!
As Thanksgiving draws close, I am so thankful for the beautiful wild turkeys roaming my neighborhood. 16 of them foraging around my house! They eat everything from acorns to salamanders! I’ve even learned some of their calls and did you know turkeys can even swim?
Wild turkeys have been around for 5 million years and they didn’t come from Turkey! No sireee! They’re native to Mexico where they were domesticated by the Aztecs. In the early 1500s, Spanish conquistadors exploring North America brought them back to Spain and here’s where their story gets interesting.
Merchants from Turkey traded and sold these birds through North Africa, Turkey and beyond and the fowl made their way onto dinner plates throughout Europe and England. Since they were being wholesaled out of Turkey, the English labeled them turkeys.
Anyways, learning all about turkeys made me wonder what those Aztecs, the original domesticators of the bird, called them. Turns out their word was huehxolotl. The scientific name is Meleagris gallopavo which translates to guinea-fowl-rooster-peacock. Hmmm, those are both a mouthful. Maybe I think I’ll just keep calling my fine-feathered friends, turkeys!
I hope you Jammers get to see some wild turkeys someday!! They are truly gorgeous. I can see why the eminent Benjamin Franklin admired them so much. You may have heard that ol Ben nominated the turkey to be our national bird instead of the bald eagle but that, alas, is a myth. While he did admire them and called them a “bird of courage, he never formally suggested them to be our national symbol.
But that's a whole other story. . . . .
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!