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Oh Happy Day!

Oh Happy Day!
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-12-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Powershot SX110IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Guatemala & Belize
Date Submitted: 2010-02-18 6:18
Viewed: 6104
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
These amazing looking birds were seen walking around in small groups all over Tikal National Park.

Ocellated Turkey
Meleagris ocellata

The Ocellated Turkey lives only in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and in the northern parts of Belize and Guatemala.

The body feathers of both sexes are a mixture of bronze and green iridescent color. Although females can be duller with more green, the breast feathers do not generally differ and cannot be used to determine sex. Neither sex has beards. Tail feathers of both sexes are bluish-grey with an eye-shaped, blue-bronze spot near the end with a bright gold tip. The spots, for which the Ocellated is named, lead some scientists to believe that the bird is more related to peafowl than to Wild Turkeys. The upper, major secondary wing coverts are rich iridescent copper. The primary and secondary wing feathers have similar barring to that of North American turkeys, but the secondaries have more white, especially around the edges.
Both sexes have blue heads with some orange or red nodules, which are more pronounced on males. The males also have a fleshy blue crown covered with nodules, similar to those on the neck, behind the snood. During breeding season this crown swells up and becomes brighter and more pronounced in its yellow-orange color. The eye is surrounded by a ring of bright red skin, which is most visible on males during breeding season. The legs are deep red and are shorter and thinner than on North American turkeys. Males over one year old have spurs on the legs that average 4 cm (1.5 inches), which lengths of over 6 cm (2.5 inches) being recorded. These spurs are much longer and thinner than on North American turkeys.
Ocellated Turkeys are much smaller than any of the subspecies of North American Wild Turkey, with adult hens weighing in at about 4 kg (8 pounds) before laying eggs and 3 kg (6-7 pounds) the rest of the year, and adult males weighing about 5–6 kg (11-15 pounds) during breeding season.

Turkeys spend most of the time on the ground and often prefer to run to escape danger through the day rather than fly, though they can fly swiftly and powerfully for short distances as the majority of birds in this order do in necessity. Roosting is usually high in trees away from night hunting predators such as Jaguars and usually in a family group.
Female Ocellated Turkeys lay 8-15 eggs in a well concealed nest on the ground. She incubates the eggs for 28 days. The young are precocial and able to leave the nest after one night. They then follow their mother until they reach young adulthood when they begin to range though often regrouping to roost.
The voice is similar to the northern species: the male making the "Gobbling" sound during the breeding season, while the female bird makes a "clucking" sound.
Branton and Berryhill (2007) have observed that the male Ocellated Turkey does not gobble per se like the Wild Turkey. Rather, his song is distinct and includes some six to seven bongo-like bass tones which quicken in both cadence and volume until a crescendo is reached whereupon the bird’s head is fully erect while he issues forth a rather high-pitched but melodious series of chops. The Ocellated Turkey will typically begin his singing 20 to 25 minutes before sunrise – similar to the Wild Turkeys in North America.


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Critiques [Translate]

Hallo Manyee
Looking at this colourful "Xmas tree" I feel like singing the song: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when the skies are grey" etc. etc. What a lovely show piece. Did it escape from the carnival at Rio? Lovely, lovely. Wonderful details captured. Great point of view. Thanks for sharing as well as very interesting note. Best regards.

hello Manyee
this is a super picture with great details and beautiful colours
nice pose
greeting lou

Hi Manyee.
Perfect capture of this amazing bird.
Nice colors and details of it.Well done.
Best gretings.Alin.

H Manyee,

This is a lovely portrait photo of this turkey. The colours are lovely and bright and the detail is excellent showing off its lovely plumage.
Great capture and TFS


The orange sphered wart shapes are actually quite beautiful on this fantastic looking bird with its already cool iridescent feathers. The tropics have some really incredible looking species. Very nice portrait ManYee. I don't know if I'll see them when I head down to Central America, but if I do your picture as inspired me to not overlook these birds and photograph them if given the opportunity.
Paul :)

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2010-02-18 8:36]

Hi Manyee

The serious side to this beautiful Ocellated Turkey is that lovely mosaic of colours.
However, it has a hilarious side too namely that jelly tots that somebody went and
stuck to its psychedelic head. What assortment of pigmentation. Me likes yes, and
loads of it too. Very well captured with excellent details in the plumage.

Well done MF and TFS.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-02-18 10:12]

Hello Manyee,
Fantastic coloured photo of this Ocellated Turkey. Very sharp with excellent details. Nice contrasting BG and eye-contact. Good composition.

Hi Manyee

They certainly are a spectacular species, I saw them there last year. Good portrait and good sharpness and details.


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-02-20 20:05]

Hello Manyee,
What a fantastic portrait show excellent detail in that amazingly colourful plumage. The nodules although quite colourful look strange. To finish off your posting has excellent informational notes. Thank you for the great posting Manyee.

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