A wild turkey, sighted at California's China Camp State Park in the fall of 2011; this too is one of the many parks California is closing or privatizing to balance its budget.
A least one of the founding fathers thought this native bird would have made a better national symbol than the one chosen.
The birds Franklin knew would have been smaller than the one many of us eat today, and if slaughtered, the meat would have mostly dark, unlike modern commercially farmed breeds who are all white breast.
I am not particularly a fan of the tradition of eating turkey on the Thanksgiving holiday, so I am glad to report that we're having duck. I don't know what Franklin thought of the duck. Best wishes to all on this most pleasant of holidays.