Melissa Mayntz is a bird expert, certified grasp Naturalist, writer, and author through over three years of experience. She's published in several national magazines, consisting of National Wildlife Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and also WildBird Magazine. Melissa has actually studied numerous bird types around the world, traveling to Mexico, central America, the Caribbean, the central Pacific, the middle East, and an ext on birding expeditions.

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The snood is similar to a wattle, and may be called a wattle when all of a turkey's face, head, and neck markings are defined together, however it is a distinctive feature. The base of the snood is just over the bill, and also the total length have the right to vary from just 1-2 inches come 5-6 customs or longer depending on the bird's gender, health, and also mood. A quick snood may stand upright and be pointed choose a little horn, when a much longer snood will dangle under the bird's bill and may flop top top one side or the other.


A snood is a fleshy protuberance over a masculine turkey's bill that can, in part cases, cave down and also cover the bill. It deserve to vary drastically in size, shape, and color. Snoods function in sex-related selection: female turkeys select who to mate with based on a selection of components including snood size.


around the Snood

The snood"s color ranges indigenous pale white, gray, or ice cream blue to a richer blue, pink, red, or purple. Stronger, bolder colors commonly indicate heightened emotions, such as aggression or adjustment readiness. The snood may likewise have a few fine, dark hairs protruding from it.


Because the snood is fleshy and blood-filled, the can readjust length quickly. A short, compact snood may indicate an agitated bird, and also turkey hunters have provided the snood shortening and withdrawing once a bird feeling trapped or threatened. This may be a defensive response, because a long, dangling snood can be a peril in a fight: if the snood is injured, the bird may bleed profusely, and also the snood can easily end up being infected through an open wound. Due to the fact that turkeys can be aggressive, farmers who raise turkeys may have actually their birds de-snooded together chicks, remove the protuberance and also lessening the threat of injury or infection.


What a Snood Isn't

The snood might appear comparable to several other facial structures, and also understanding the differences in between them can aid birders better appreciate the sports in bird anatomy. Comparable features the aren't snoods include:


Rictal Bristles: These room fine feather or slim hairs at the base of the bill that are thought to help birds finding insects or protect the eyes and also nares from debris or bacteria. Rictal bristles space not fleshy and also do not change.

Identifying bird by Snood

Only 2 birds have actually prominent snoods: the wild turkey and also the ocellated turkey. The wild turkey has actually a much more developed snood, and some ocellated turkeys have such small snoods the they space not particularly noticeable. The snood is also not as variable or changeable top top the ocellated turkey, though its length can change. Since this structure is minimal to just these 2 species, it is not necessary to view the snood because that proper species identification, as both varieties have far an ext dramatic field marks than this one face feature. The snood can help with other types of identification, however. If checked out clearly, the snood deserve to identify:


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

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