“The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates
that enacting the legislation would reduce revenues by about $1,633 billion and
decrease outlays by $219 billion over the 2018-2027 period, leading to an
increase in the deficit of $1,414 billion over the next 10 years. A portion of
the changes in revenues would be from Social Security payroll taxes, which are
off-budget. Excluding the estimated $27 billion increase in off-budget revenues
over the next 10 years, JCT estimates that the legislation would increase
on-budget deficits by about $1,441 billion over the period from 2018 to 2027.
Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect
direct spending and revenues.”
Wild tom (male) turkeys parade with fanned tail feathers at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. A tom is also known as a gobbler. (Photo: Larry Smith, Flickr Creative Commons)
Thought you knew all there is to know about the odd birds at your table this week?
Think again. The group is even wilder than you thought.
Amuse your guests with some offbeat turkey facts. Then walk off the
meal at a national wildlife refuge where you may you spy wild turkeys strutting and fanning their feathers like those in this video, filmed at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa and Nebraska. Who knows? You might emerge looking less like a butterball yourself. (Just joking.)
Read on and you’ll learn some oddball turkey trivia and favorite wild turkey hideouts.
A wild turkey shows its wattle and caruncles at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
in Massachusetts. The wattle is a skin flap reaching from the beak to
the neck. Caruncles are bumps of flesh that cover the birds’ necks and
heads. (Photo: Matt Poole/USFWS)
TURKEY FACT #2:
Turkey droppings tell a bird’s sex and age. Male droppings are
j-shaped; female droppings are spiral-shaped. The larger the diameter,
the older the bird.
Turkey-rich refuges: FLORIDA St Marks National Wildlife Refuge
To boost your chances of seeing turkeys, lower your car speed to a crawl — “Turkeys are sensitive to the movement of vehicles,” says ranger David Moody — or get outand
walk, slowly. The refuge is closed to hunting until December 10.
Turkeys like the open terrain of the longleaf pine sandhill ecosystem
along the Florida National Scenic Trail, almost 50 miles of which go
through the refuge. $5 entrance fee. GEORGIA Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge
Look for turkeys along 50 miles of gravel
roads, including 6-mile-long Wildlife Drive. You might also see turkeys
off Round Oak Juliette Road, a scenic paved byway. Or try one of the
refuge’s five hiking trails. No entrance fee. ILLINOIS Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
The 1.7- mile Wild Turkey Trail leads through woods and offers a fine
chance of seeing … you-know-whats. For more of a challenge, take the
connecting 2.2-mile Rocky Bluff Trail. Entrance fee: $2 per vehicle. MASSACHUSETTS Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Several short foot trails give you a chance to glimpse wild turkeys.
You might also spy some along Wildlife Drive. Entrance fee: $5 per
Two gobblers vie for dominance at
John Heinz Refuge at Tinicum. The younger tom on the left (uneven tail
feathers signify youth) appears to win. (Photo: Bill Buchanan/USFWS)
More turkey-rich refuges: MINNESOTA Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
From the visitor center, the half-mile Hillside Trail connects to
the Long Meadow Lake Trail. Follow it around the floodplain wetland,
keeping your eyes out for wild turkeys. No entrance fee. Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
The refuge has a “healthy population” of the skittish wild birds,
says deputy manager Greg Dehmer. Look for them along 7.5-mile Wildlife
Drive, two refuge hiking trails, and in prairie fields beside county
roads that run through the refuge. No entrance fee. NEW MEXICO Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Hundreds of Rio Grande turkeys hang out here. The North and South
Auto Tour Loops are good places to spot some. Other good spots: along
the Rio Viejo Trail, the John Taylor Memorial Trail or the bike trail
on the east side service road of the Low Flow Conveyance Channel.
Entrance fee: $5 per vehicle
NEW YORK Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
Feeder Road takes you on a scenic 3.5-mile drive into the refuge,
passing fields and grasslands that are favorite turkey hangouts. The
road is open to cars now through February, and to hikers and cyclists
year-round. Three other hiking trails are also available. No entrance
Still more turkey-rich refuges: SOUTH CAROLINA Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge
Nine-mile Wildlife Drive passes woods and fields where you might spot
turkeys, especially in mornings and late afternoons. Or walk any of
five hiking trails along the drive. An observation tower in the Oxpen
Unit offers exceptional birding and scenic views. No entrance fee. TEXAS Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
Look for wild turkeys crossing Refuge Road as you drive in the main
entrance. Raasch Trail is also a good bet for seeing wild turkeys. No
Refuge trails are open sunrise to sunset daily, even on Thanksgiving
Day when refuge visitor centers will be closed. Free trail maps are
available outside the visitor center or at a refuge entrance kiosk.
Here’s more information on National Wildlife Refuge System trails.
Rio Grande wild turkeys, a Merriam’s subspecies, strut
and feed in Wyoming. (Photo: Courtesy of the National Turkey