Ocellated Turkey

Meleagris ocellata

Back and front views of an Ocellated tom
Photo courtesy of Gemma Marshalls

This Central American species of turkey is quite different from the North American Wild Turkey. Neither sex has a beard and both have a brilliant and iridescent bronze-green plumage. The tail feathers have spots similar to those on a peacock's train feathers. The head is blue in both sexes, but the males have a fleshy crown behind the snood which is covered with yellow-orange nodules. Males over one year old have spurs at least 1.5 inches in length. The Ocellated's gobble is also very different from that of the better known Wild Turkey (see the pdf file mentioned below under links for a good description of the Ocellated's voice).

During breeding season adult males weigh around 11-12lb. Females about to lay with around 8lb, and are lighter the rest of the year.

Hens lay an average of 12 eggs in a clutch. The eggs look very similar to those of the Wild Turkey.


Ocellated Turkey Links:

Here's an Acrobat pdf file on Ocellateds

A photo of an adult Ocellated Turkey

The Houston Zoo has information about the Ocellated Turkey -- look under Birds.



Ocellated Turkeys in the wild
Photo courtesy of Leslie English

My friend Pam was in Mexico and brought me back some Ocellated feathers

Two head shots of an Ocellated tom
Photos courtesy of Colt Handorf


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