Turkeys were introduced to the Santa Cruz Mountains for hunting and now run wild. Biologists deplore them as a nuisance, but their calls and antics can be pretty entertaining. Meleagris gallopavo (wild turkeys) are native to North America, but for a time were threatened by over hunting. They were reintroduced into California in the 30's and 40's and we typically see the Rio Grande subspecies. Males (toms) are considerably larger than females (hens) and have iridescent feathers with casts of green, copper, bronze and gold. Toms typically have a long, coarse beard, fighting spurs on the back of their legs, larger wattles, a longer snood and more colorful heads. Hens are smaller, exhibit more subdued grays and browns with less prominent major caruncles (wattles). About 10-20% of hens also have a beard.