Eastern Wild Turkey was the turkey species first encountered in the wild by the Puritans, the founders of Jamestown, and the Acadians; its range is one of the largest of all subspecies. The natural range covers the entire eastern half of the United States from Maine in the north to northern Florida and extending as far west as Michigan. In Canada its range extends into Southeastern Manitoba, all of Ontario, all of Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces. They number from 5.1 to 5.3 million birds. They were first named 'forest turkey' in 1817, and can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. The upper tail coverts are tipped with chestnut brown. Males can reach 30 lbs in weight. The Eastern Wild Turkey is heavily hunted in the Eastern USA and is the most hunted wild turkey subspecies.
Despite their weight, wild turkeys are surprisingly agile fliers and cunning, unlike their domestic counterparts. Turkeys are very cautious birds and will fly or run at the first sign of danger. Their ideal habitat is an open woodland or savanna, where they may fly beneath the canopy top and find perches. They usually fly close to the ground for no more than a quarter mile (400 m). Turkeys have many vocalizations: "gobbles," "clucks," "putts," "purrs," "yelps," "cutts," "whines," "cackles," and "kee-kees." In early spring, male turkeys, also called gobblers or toms, gobble to announce their presence to females and competing males. The gobble can carry for up to a mile.