Printable Activities Make Travel Fun

Wild Turkey Origami: State Game Bird of Alabama and Massachusetts

Eastern wild turkey. Photo by Dimus.

The wild turkey, the largest and heaviest of all gamefowls, is native to North America and is the official state bird of Massachusetts.

The Eastern wild turkey is found in woodlands and savannas throughout the eastern U.S. and up into Canada, where they scrounge on forest floors and through grasslands for nuts, seeds, fruits, insects and salamanders. They were a favored food of Native Americans, and the first turkey encountered by the Puritans.

Turkeys, with their distinctive red wattles (males only), fanned tails and gobbling, have become so much a part of our national heritage and our traditional celebrations that's it hard to imagine an America without them. Yet, by the early part of the 20th century, hunting and the loss of woodland forests threatened to wipe them out. Fortunately, with intensive wild turkey reintroduction programs to relocate the birds to their native habitats, wild turkeys are here to stay.

Fun Fact:
Benjamin Franklin preferred the wild turkey as the national bird:
"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him...

With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward... 

I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

1. Print Wild Turkey Origami.

2a. Cut out Turkey Origami.
2b. Cut along bold red lines, as shown by red arrows.
2c. Fold turkey tail feather back, as shown by blue arrow.

 3. Accordion fold tail feathers, back and forth, as shown.

4. Repeat accordion folds on other side.

5. Fold body up as shown.

6a. Fold turkey body forward to center, as shown.
6b. Repeat on other side.

7. Fold turkey's head down, as shown.

8a. Fold corners of turkey body back, as shown.
8b. Fold top of tail back, as shown.

9a. Grasping tip of tail, pull down to open accordion pleats, as shown.
9b. Repeat on other side.

10. Fold bottom of body back, as shown.

©2010 Tammy Yee
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