Rio Grande Turkey Flapping Wings

During my recent photography trip to the Doris Campground in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma, I had the exciting opportunity to capture some stunning shots of a Rio Grande Turkey flapping its wings. These majestic birds are native to the southern Great Plains and are known for their impressive displays during mating season.

Rio Grande Turkey Flapping Wings
Rio Grande Turkey Flapping Wings

One interesting fact about Rio Grande Turkeys is that they have a unique way of displaying their dominance and attracting mates. During the breeding season, male turkeys will puff up their feathers, fan out their tails, and make a drumming sound by rapidly flapping their wings. This display, called a “strut,” can be heard and seen from a distance and is intended to impress female turkeys and intimidate rival males.

In addition to their elaborate courtship displays, Rio Grande Turkeys are also known for their distinctive calls, which can be heard throughout their range. They have a variety of vocalizations, including gobbling, clucking, and purring, which they use to communicate with each other.

Another interesting fact about Rio Grande Turkeys is that they have been successfully reintroduced to areas where they were previously extirpated. Thanks to conservation efforts, populations of Rio Grande Turkeys have rebounded in many parts of their range, providing birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts with the opportunity to see these impressive birds up close.

Capturing the Rio Grande Turkey flapping its wings was a thrilling moment that I will always remember. The intricate patterns and colors of the bird’s feathers were truly mesmerizing, and watching it perform its mating ritual was a sight to behold. I feel lucky to have had the chance to witness this incredible display of nature’s beauty and share it with others through my photography.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: RF100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: May 2, 2022 (04:00 P. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 1/800
  • ISO: 5000 (Auto)
  • Focal Length: 500 mm