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9 Birds that look like Turkey

Birds that look like Turkey

When we talk about Thanksgiving, turkeys are the first thing that comes to mind. This means that hordes of people will be descending on airports and train stations to travel to their family homes. If you’re one of those people, you’re probably wondering what kind of bird you’ll see first when you get there. Will it be a turkey? Maybe not! There are quite a few birds that look like a turkey.

This article will talk about birds that look like a turkey. Sooty Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, Guinea Fowl, etc., are some notable examples. Note that birds similar to a turkey might not be exact but may have similar colors, shapes, etc.


Which birds that look like a turkeys?

We’ll be diverse with our discussion and inform you of the best features of these birds. 

1. Sooty Grouse

Sooty Grouse

The sooty grouse is a similar bird to the turkey. It’s because of the color and shape similarity of these two species. However, they have more than one difference. For example, sooty grouse are usually smaller than the turkeys. Also, they weigh less and have less height than a turkey.

A sooty grouse will range from 15 to 20 cm. On the contrary, a turkey (wild) will measure the double of a sooty grouse, ranging from 40 to 45 cm. Due to the dark color and dense feather, many confuse a sooty grouse with a turkey.

The food eaten by a sooty grouse is diverse. These birds like to eat everything, including bugs, insects, twigs, leaves, small fruits, etc. But, overall, they’re a few similar birds to a turkey.

2. Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse

Coming from the family Phasianidae, the ruffed grouse is one of the birds that look like a turkey. This bird appears to be a turkey vulture and a wild turkey.

However, one distinct feature of any turkey bird is that the ruffed grouse has a crown-like structure on its head. In addition, multiple patches of feathers are spiked on the top of the head.

The ruffed grouse has an omnivorous food habit. These birds love to eat fruits, vegetables, leaves, and buds. Unlike a turkey and Sooty grouse, they don’t prefer eating insects or bugs from the ground.

3. Dusky Grouse

Dusky Grouse

The dusky grouse bird is pretty similar to a turkey. However, the key identification feature of a turkey and a dusky grouse is the hair on the head.

Dusky grouse will have patches of hair on the head. But a turkey (wild or vulture) won’t have head hairs. The dusky grouse is more significant in size and weighs less than a turkey.

These birds range in size from 17 to 21 inches, weighing 40 to 45 ounces. We already know that a turkey is almost double that size.

4. Ring-necked Pheasant

 Birds that look like Turkey

This omnivorous bird primarily feeds on grass, leaves, plants, and other ground veggies. Although omnivorous, these birds prefer vegetables and plants mainly. When necessary, they feed on insects, which is rare.

Although the body appearance is similar to a turkey, the long tail is a feature that differentiates the bird. The collar is white, and from the throat to the neck is blue (dark) or violet. Hence, we can easily spot the differences between a ring-necked pheasant and a turkey.

Note that these birds commonly nest their living place on the ground holes. They’re hardly found nesting in trees or shrubs.

5. Guinea Fowl

Guinea Fowl

Guinea fowl and turkey are both processed for meat and eggs. Many use these birds for their business. However, one might get confused due to their similar appearance. The Guinea Fowls are also known as the gamebird. Note that guinea fowls aren’t easy to domesticate. As a result, guineas have stayed pretty wild over the years.

They don’t see the point of having a relationship with humans. No wonder people find it hard to raise these birds. An adult guinea has a height of 50 to 60 cm. Therefore, they’ll weigh about 1 to 1.5 kg. So, it’s evident that guinea fowls weigh much less than a turkey vulture or wild turkey.

6. Greater sage-grouse

Greater sage-grouse

Next on the list of birds that look like a turkey is the Greater sage-grouse. It looks similar to a turkey. These birds will weigh around 1.5 to 3 kg when they become adults. An average turkey will have such weight. But, comparatively, the weight and size are much low when discussing the Greater sage grouse.

The lengths of these birds will range from 22 to 30 cm and reach the peak when they’re adults. Note that these birds only feed on plants. Till now, no one spotted these birds eating insects or meat-like foods. We can say that the greater sage-grouses are entirely vegetarian. However, the gray-brown and the black belly of these birds are loved by some people.

7. Black Grouse

Black Grouse Birds that look like Turkey

The black grouse also looks like turkeys. It’s also known as the Northern Grouse, and many consider them the largest grouse in the family. However, although they’re more extensive than the other grouse, they’re still smaller than a turkey.

Considering the size of a male grouse, they’ll be around 40 to 50 centimeters. Note that the females are 1 to 1.5 kg in weight and males are approximately 2 to 2.5 kg. That’s the critical difference between the male and female black grouses.

8. Mountain Quail

Mountain Quail

A forest home and a taste for seeds make these birds nest in the ground. They aren’t too big, but not too small (between a crow and a robin).

Anyways, the length of a mountain quail is 10.2 to 11.2 centimeters and weighs 210 to 215 grams. The colors of the bird are fascinating. These birds will have gray, white, and chestnut colors.

One worrying note is that the population of the Mountain Quail is declining day by day. Without proper care for their species, they might decline to extinction. For now, they only live in restricted places.

9. Sharp-tailed grouse

Birds that look like Turkey

The sharp-tailed grouse’s body shape, tail, and wings are three reasons they’re similar to a turkey. They are at the top of this list of birds that look like a turkey. 

But the size is the critical factor that makes a turkey and sharp-tailed grouse different. These grouses have the size of a crow only. They’ll have a length of 15 to 20 centimeters. So, we can say that the sharp-tailed grouses are only half the size of a turkey. Also, these birds have hairs (spiked) on the head.

Frequently Asked Questions About Birds That Look Like Turkeys

What Does Wild Turkey Look Like?

One might wonder how a wild turkey looks. The male wild turkey is usually large and spherical. However, the head is primarily blue and has red patches as well. Also, the bill of the wild turkey is pointed downwards.

On the other hand, the females hardly have a blue color. Instead, they usually have brownish color in most parts of their body.

How Many Types Of Turkey Birds Are There?

Generally, there’re six types of turkey birds. However, if we consider species, the number will go beyond 500.

How Can You Tell A Male From A Female Wild Turkey?

As we’ve already mentioned, the female turkey has color differences from a male wild turkey. Therefore, the female wild turkey will have a brown color and white patches on its body. On the contrary, the male wild turkey will have blue and red colors around and on the head.

Do Turkeys Eat Seeds?

The primary food source of turkeys is seeds, just like other birds on this list. However, they also consume insects and small animals to supplement their diet. Do Turkeys Drink Water?

Yes, turkeys drink water. In the wild, they usually get water from different sources such as ponds, streams, lakes, etc. Nevertheless, in captivity, people give them water in a bowl or container.

What Do Baby Wild Turkeys Look Like?

When baby wild turkeys are born, they’ll be blind and covered with feathers. The weight of a newborn turkey is around 85 to 115 grams. Also, their length will be 10 to 12 centimeters. After hatching, the color of their feathers will be different from adult turkeys.

What Do Turkeys Eat In The Wild?

In the wild, turkeys usually eat seeds, insects, and small animals. However, the primary food source of turkeys is seeds. They also consume insects and small animals as a supplement to their diet.

Do Turkeys Fly?

Yes, turkeys can fly. Although they’re not the best flyers, they can still fly short distances. Nevertheless, they usually run or walk to move from one place to another.

Do Turkeys Sleep In Trees?

No, turkeys don’t sleep in trees. Instead, they usually sleep on the ground in areas with thick vegetation.

Do Turkeys Eat Their Babies?

It’s a rare thing for turkeys to eat their babies. However, it might happen if the mother turkey is stressed or doesn’t have enough food.

Are Turkeys Smart?

Yes, turkeys are smart animals. They can remember different faces and locations. Also, they can communicate with each other using different sounds.

Final Words

In this article, we’ve discussed different types of birds that look like a turkey. We’ve also answered some frequently asked questions about these birds. We hope that this article was helpful and informative.

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