Melissa Mayntz is a bird expert, certified grasp Naturalist, writer, and author through over three years of experience. She's released in several national magazines, consisting of National Wildlife Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and also WildBird Magazine. Melissa has studied hundreds of bird species around the world, travel to Mexico, main America, the Caribbean, the main Pacific, the center East, and much more on birding expeditions.

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The snood is similar to a wattle, and may be referred to as a wattle when every one of a turkey's face, head, and also neck markings are explained together, however it is a unique feature. The base of the snood is just above the bill, and also the complete length have the right to vary from simply 1-2 inches come 5-6 inch or longer depending on the bird's gender, health, and also mood. A quick snood might stand upright and be pointed like a tiny horn, when a longer snood will certainly dangle under the bird's bill and also may flop ~ above one next or the other.


A snood is a fleshy protuberance over a male turkey's bill that can, in part cases, hang down and cover the bill. It deserve to vary dramatically in size, shape, and also color. Snoods role in sex-related selection: mrs turkeys pick who come mate with based upon a variety of factors including snood size.


about the Snood

The snood"s color ranges indigenous pale white, gray, or ice blue to a richer blue, pink, red, or purple. Stronger, bolder colors frequently indicate heightened emotions, such together aggression or mating readiness. The snood may likewise have a few fine, dark hair protruding native it.


Because the snood is fleshy and blood-filled, that can readjust length quickly. A short, compact snood may show an agitated bird, and turkey hunters have detailed the snood shortening and also withdrawing once a bird feels trapped or threatened. This may be a defensive response, since a long, dangling snood can be a peril in a fight: if the snood is injured, the bird might bleed profusely, and also the snood could easily come to be infected with an open wound. Due to the fact that turkeys have the right to be aggressive, farmers who raise turkeys may have their bird de-snooded together chicks, removing the protuberance and lessening the threat of injury or infection.


What a Snood Isn't

The snood may appear similar to several other facial structures, and also understanding the differences in between them can aid birders much better appreciate the sport in bird anatomy. Similar features that aren't snoods include:


Rictal Bristles: These room fine feather or slim hairs at the basic of the bill that are believed to aid birds recognize insects or protect the eyes and nares from debris or bacteria. Rictal bristles space not fleshy and do no change.

Identifying bird by Snood

Only two birds have prominent snoods: the wild turkey and the ocellated turkey. The wild turkey has actually a much an ext developed snood, and some ocellated turkeys have such little snoods the they are not specifically noticeable. The snood is also not as variable or changeable top top the ocellated turkey, though its length deserve to change. Since this structure is limited to simply these two species, that is not necessary to see the snood for proper types identification, as both varieties have far much more dramatic ar marks than this one face feature. The snood can help with other varieties of identification, however. If watched clearly, the snood have the right to identify:


Gender: Males commonly have much larger, more prominent snoods, especially during the breeding season. Part hens may lack snoods entirely.

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Health: A long, influential snood regularly indicates a strong, healthy bird, specifically during the adjustment season. Studies of snoods have actually detected much better bacterial resistance in turkeys with much longer snoods.