Happy Thanksgiving

Wild Turkey, Cades Cove - Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Staff Photo by Jeff Depew

Wild Turkey, Cades Cove – Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Staff Photo by Jeff Depew

Thanksgiving is the touted by most Americans as their second favorite holiday, following only Christmas. One native bird that might feel differently is the turkey. Though it missed its chance to be the National Bird, losing out to the Bald Eagle, it has found infamy in the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Interestingly, as American consumption of turkey has slowly declined over the past several years, the average weight of the bird has soared. Neighboring North Carolina is one of two states that produce the most of the fowl and there are four cities in the United States that have the moniker Turkey. While flying is challenging for the turkey, the Thanksgiving institution has a distinction that goes beyond the Earth. Turkey was one of the first meals eaten by Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin on their famous trip into space, giving the stately bird one more distinctive place in history.

Source: K. Depew, News Director

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