Ocellated Turkey

Beautiful Birds of Belize Blog – Post #14

By Jim Gain


  • Scientific Name: Meleagris ocellata
  • Name in Spanish (Mexico): Guajolote Ocelado
  • Name in Mayan (if known): Kuuts
  • ABA 4-Letter Bird Code: OCTU
  • Family: Phasianidae – Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies
  • Order: Galliformes – Gallinaceous Birds
Ocellated Turkey Image © Jim Gain

About this Bird

One of only two Turkey species worldwide. The Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) is a large bird species found in Belize. It is a member of the turkey family and is distinct from the more familiar wild turkey species found in North America.

The Ocellated Turkey is known for its striking plumage, which includes iridescent feathers in shades of blue, green, and bronze, as well as bold eye-shaped spots (ocelli) on its tail feathers. Males are larger and more brightly colored than females and can grow up to 4 feet in length.

Ocellated Turkey Image © Jim Gain

These turkeys are primarily forest-dwelling birds, inhabiting tropical rainforests and other dense woodlands. They are omnivorous and feed on a variety of plant and animal matter, including fruits, seeds, insects, and small reptiles.

Ocellated Turkey Image © Jim Gain

The Ocellated Turkey has a fascinating social behavior, with males engaging in elaborate courtship displays to attract females during the breeding season. These displays involve fluffing their feathers, puffing out their chests, and making a series of gobbling, clucking, and purring sounds. Females will lay 8-15 eggs in a ground nest, and both parents will take turns incubating the eggs.

>> Next Post on Sunday, 4/23/2023 – Slaty-tailed Trogon

Below are the most recent Beautiful Birds of Belize Blog Posts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.