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Understanding Wild Turkeys – Turkey’s Plumage and Its Function

Pteronophobia is the fear of feathers, feathered objects i.e., birds, or being tickled by feathers. As a turkey hunter I’ll go out on a limb and say turkey hunters aren’t likely to suffer the “fear of feathered objects” part of this affliction. Why? Aside from a turkey’s soul shaking gobble, its breathtakingly stunning plumage captivates us when a strutting spring gobbler’s sun-kissed feathers magically beam a kaleidoscope of colors declaring its majesty. Our hearts may skip a beat and breaths quicken, though not out of fear, but reverent gratitude. As you stroke the feathers of your next tagged turkey take a moment to contemplate the miracle of their perfection. To better understand the form, function and maintenance of feathers important insight is included from wild turkey expert and researcher, Dr. Michael J. Chamberlain, PhD., Terrell Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management at Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia.

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