He's at home on the range. Native to the semi-arid areas of the southern Great Plains states, the Rio Grande wild turkey occupies more open terrain than Easterns and Osceolas to the East. Rios spend their days in rough, dry country, where the availability of water affects their habitat use and daily movements. Named after the historic Rio Grande River that borders his territory, his appearance falls somewhere between the Eastern and Western subspecies, hence his scientific name, Meleagris gallapavo intermedia.
Tailfan: Copper-colored tips on the tailfeathers; yellow-buff tipped covert feathers
Wing Feathers: Equal amount of white and black barring on the primaries
Breast Feathers: Lighter in color than the Eastern and Osceola, reflecting iridescent reds and greens.
Spurs: Moderate in length and often have rounded tips, worn down by the arid climates they inhabit
Beard: Moderate in length and girth compared to the other four subspecies
Gobble: 2.5 out of 5in strength compared to the other Grand Slam subspecies
Classic Rio habitat includes cottonwood creek bottoms in Kansas to scrub brush of Texas where birds sometimes roost 8 feet off the ground and drink from cattle troughs. Water can often be in short supply, and its availability will affect their choice of habitat and daily movements.
Similar to Merriam’s, open country Rios can be concentrated around roost sites where limited trees exist. The birds spend their days in rough country, wondering among cactus, scrub brush and blazing heat and you have to watch for rattlers as you pick a thorny spot to sit.
Want to display all four Grand Slam Subspecies? Now you can, with “The Grand Slam Subspecies of the North American Wild Turkey.” Essential for any turkey hunting enthusiast, this print includes new original art and interesting facts and figures about each of the four Grand Slam wild turkey subspecies. Each print is signed by Ryan Kirby and stamped with a seal of authenticity. It’s perfect for the office, hunting lodge or mancave.