Rio Grande Wild Turkey (M. g. intermedia) (Sennett, 1879)
The Rio Grande Wild Turkey ranges through Texas to Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, and was introduced to central and western California, as well as parts of a few northeastern states. It was also introduced to Hawaiʻi in the late 1950s. Population estimates for this subspecies range from 1,022,700 to 1,025,700. This subspecies, native to the central plain states., was first described in 1879, and has relatively long legs, better adapted to a prairie habitat. Its body feathers often have a green-coppery sheen. The tips of the tail and lower back feathers are a buff-to-very light tan color. Its habitats are brush areas next to streams, rivers or mesquite, pine and scrub oak forests. The Rio Grande Turkey is gregarious.
The Rio Grande Turkey had a native range consisting of the southern Great Plains, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and northeastern Mexico. Populations have been introduced in many other states, as far north as Washington, east to South Dakota, and west to California.
The arid plains regions. They prefer to roost in Cottonwood Trees, and so can often be found where Cottonwoods grow within their range.
The Rio Grande Turkey is a little lighter colored than the Eastern Wild Turkey, but a little darker than the Merriam’s Wild Turkey. It is a little smaller than the Eastern, as well. Toms weigh as much as 20 pounds, while hens are usually between 8 and 12 pounds.
The Rio Grande Turkey enjoys a stable wild population, and is hunted. Hunting seasons are determined and managed by state wildlife regulatory agencies.
Many people would like to raise Rio Grande Turkeys in captivity. But they are not nearly as popular as the eastern wild turkeys.