Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Guaranteed Turkey

If you spend any time at all in Gallon Jug or Chan Chich, you'll see an Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata). More than one. Guaranteed.

I don't normally go out on a limb to "guarantee" an animal sighting of any kind ... except for the turkey. And I'd only guarantee it here, where they are abundant and thriving. These gorgeous turkeys are widely hunted throughout their limited range in the Yucatan, Belize and Guatemala. During our years in Belize, we've seen them completely disappear from locations in Belize's once remote Chiquibul, hunted out. Luckily, strict protection from hunting here in Gallon Jug/Chan Chich has allowed them to thrive ... and they have become so human-habituated that they are visible, even approachable, around the Lodge, around the Gallon Jug farm, at any time of day.

This nice photo from Ben's files, is from the River Trail near the Lodge. Ocellated Turkeys are also known for being curious about the camera traps and are responsible for hundreds of images as they investigate the camera, dust bathe, investigate the camera, preen, investigate the camera, forage, investigate the camera ... you get the picture!

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