L-28 Levee Osceola Turkey
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – L-28 INTERCEPTOR LEVEE, COLLIER COUNTY, FL
This photograph was taken in Collier County, Florida at the L-28 Interceptor Levee, featuring three Osceola Turkey feeding. Although I mainly photograph using a Nikon D90, I had the opportunity to try out a Moultrie IR Game Cam. I basically found an area where I saw sign of Osceola turkeys, and strapped the Moultrie Game Cam to a tree about 3′ high, set it and picked it up about a week later. Pretty impressive photograph considering it was a 50/50 chance that the Osceola Turkey would walk by and smile for the camera.
The Florida Osceola Turkey can only be found in Florida. The Osceola Turkey ( Meleagris gallopavo Osceola)is the most sought after turkey in Florida. No where else in the world can you find the subspecies known as the Osceola. The Osceola turkey gets it’s name from the Seminole Indian; Chief Osceola. The subspecies of turkey has occurred in south Florida due to it’s isolation from the rest of the continent. During the mid 1800s when the turkey population of North America dwindled down to near extinction from hunting, the Florida Osceola Turkey thrived in the not so populated swamps of south Florida. Humans could not access the turkeys home range of cypress swamps and pine islands. However it didn’t take long for man to subdue the wild’s of Florida with roads, railways, and canals.
The Osceola Turkey similar to the Eastern wild turkey, but is smaller and darker in color with less white veining in the wing quills. The white bars in these feathers are narrow, irregular, broken and do not extend all the way to the feather shaft. The black bars predominate the feather. Secondary wing feathers are also dark. When the wings are folded on the back, there are no whitish triangular patches as seen on the eastern.
Feathers of the Florida turkey show more iridescent green and red colors, with less bronze than the eastern. The dark color of the tail coverts and the large tail feathers tipped in brown are similar to the eastern, but unlike the lighter colors of the three western subspecies. Its colorations and behavior are ideal for the flat pine woods, oak and palmetto hammocks and swamp habitats of Florida. Adult females, or hens, are similar to the males but duller and lighter colored throughout, except wing feathers, which are darker.