Rare white turkey takes up residence in Merritt | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Rare white turkey takes up residence in Merritt

A white turkey was spotted in a Merritt neighbourhood March 26, 2022.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Lena Nicholson

It’s not a common occurrence to see a white turkey so Merritt residents were in for a treat yesterday.

Lena Nicholson spotted the white bird wandering along Blair Street, March 26 at around 9 a.m.

One in every 100 turkeys is predicted to have a mutated colour but actual albino turkeys are extremely rare. Only one in every 100,000 wild turkeys is albino, according to The National Audubon Society. The birds have completely white features, white skin and have light pink or red eyes.

Their eye-catching features also put them at a greater risk of danger, since they’re so easy to spot by predators. 

It’s not the first time Merritt residents have spotted a white turkey wandering around the community. Last year, a video of a white hen was posted in the popular Merritt Grapevine Facebook group.

Nick Kozub, Oceola Fish and Games President, said in all his years of hunting he’s never seen a white turkey before but it does happen.

Kozub said the white bird in Merritt appears to be a turkey hen.

“In some ways, it’s no different than an albino deer and truth of the matter that’s a good one to get out of the breeding stock,” he said, because the white animal's unique colours make them easy targets.

“I’d love to see one myself,” he said. “To see something like that, I’d most definitely spend some time watching it, that’s for sure.”


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