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I've had this Merriams Tom in a flock of about 9 gobblers on my property in Wyoming throughout the late Spring and Summer. Also had a hen with a similar coloration come thru but less often. Had a neighbor tell me they had a domestic hen Royal Palm domestic bird get loose 5 years ago. Coloration look just like "Smoke" coloration of wild birds in an article on the NWTF website. Anyone here have any educated opinions, hybrid or smoke color phase?
Another photo that shows the white much better.
Color phase would be my guess. Several bowsiters on here have posted pics of similar colored birds they’ve taken. Hopefully they’ll post them up again. Neat coloration for sure!
Oh yeah, I do have another photo or two....
Which one did he taste like? ;)
"neighbor tell me they had a domestic hen Royal Palm domestic bird get loose 5 years ago"
flock genes have been tainted from this bird, suprised the G & F didn't come in and set up a total eradication zone and restock with clean gene wild birds. good for you for doing your part.
The hen I mentioned that I saw last year, or possibly a different one, has reappeared this week with a group of 8-10 other hens and are appearing a couple times a day. Three weeks out from fall season. I'm still undecided if they are smokes or crosses. If I was confident she was an cross I'd target her and probably leave her alone if I was convinced she was a smoke phase. Hmm.
I've seen some white colored birds in Boulder County (Heil Ranch Open Space). I haven't been able to get up there much this spring and summer with the Calwood fire but they possibly could have moved to your area...if you live reasonably close to Heil? From what I've seen on Heil a lot of birds moved and haven't returned this year. Did the birds just show up or have they been around for a while?
Most domestic birds don't last long in the wild. It seems this bird or similar have been around for a while. Looks to be acting like a wild turkey. Not sure why you are worried about tainted genes ! I doubt their is a subspecies of wild turkey anywhere that doesn't have "tainted" genes whatever that means lol
It's a smokey grey mutant too bad it's a dead hen now
I guess the hen pic was alive nm
Jims: I'm probably 400 miles from Boulder, almost to Montana. At the time I shot the gobbler last September. I was under the belief it was a cross, only later did I become mostly convinced it was a smoke color phase.
Here's a few pics of the ones here in Colo. There were 3 or 4 of them last year. All the whitish ones have been hens.
I think they call them silver phase....