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Ocellated Turkey - BirdForum Opus

Photo by rdavis.
Photo taken: Tikal National Park, Guatemala, June 2010.
Meleagris ocellata


L. 70-100 cm
Wt. 3 kg (6.6 lbs) in females and 5 kg (11 lbs) in males.

  • Bronze and iridescent green
  • Blue-bronze, eye-shaped spot on tail
  • Gold tail tips
  • Upper, major secondary wing coverts are rich iridescent copper
  • Blue heads with some orange or red nodules
    • More pronounced in males

Breeding Male

  • Fleshy blue crown covered with nodules, similar to those on neck, behind the snood
  • Crown swells and becomes brighter (a more pronounced yellow-orange)
  • Bright red skin around eye
  • Deep red legs

Males over one year old have spurs on the legs that average 1.5 inches, which lengths of over 2 inches being recorded.


Photo by Dave B Smith.
Photo taken: Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico.

Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula), Belize and the northern part of Guatemala. Rare to uncommon except where protected from hunting.


This is a monotypic species. In the past, it has sometimes been treated in a genus of its own, as Agriocharis ocellata, but the differences between this species and Meleagris gallopavo are too small to justify generic segregation.


Humid forests and clearings.



8-15 eggs are laid in a well concealed nest on the ground and are incubated by the female for 28 days. The young are 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 re-grouping to roost.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.

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