Wild Turkeys in New York City_Ben Franklin's Bird of Choice


Moe and Joe’s favorite holiday Thanksgiving is upon us.  Most people are bent on eating turkeys this time of year but Moe and Joe have decided to give thanks by taking rides on free wheelin’, wild trottin’, New York City turkeys.   These are not just any wild New York turkeys!  These are the free roaming, wild turkeys of my hometown, Staten Island.  I took this quick shot of them getting in a few practice runs before the big day.
So whether you are riding a turkey or cooking one or having someone else cook one or eating tofu, let’s all give thanks to Benjamin Franklin’s pick for national bird;  (Eagle what were we thinking!) the great bird, the Meleagris gallopavo, the turkey!


I LOVE THIS!  Turkey versus Eagle Ben Franklin’s ’s letter from 1784:

 "I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."


Greater Excerpt from the letter:

 "For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
"With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...
"I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

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