Summer Food Items Of Juvenile Wild Turkeys

Food items were identified from crop contents of 21 juvenile wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris, Vieillot) collected in Clarke County, Alabama during July, August and September of 1965, 1966 and 1967. Estimated ages ranged from 45 days to 105 days with an average of 75 days. By volume, vegetable materials comprised 73.2 percent and animal materials 26.8 percent of the diet. Grasses, primarily seeds, represented 61.5 percent of the total volume with bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) seed comprising 48.6 percent. Grasshoppers were the most important animal food representing 15.5 percent of the total volume. Grasses and grasshoppers made up 77 percent of the total volume, indicating the importance of openings as a source of summer foods.

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