Not a Turkey
This rather peculiar looking bird is a female Helmeted Guineafowl. Rather odd in appearance, and sometimes confused with the Turkey (probably a scary thought for them as Christmas approaches!). The Helmeted Guineafowl is native to Africa, but can now also be found feral in many European countries (including the UK) and North America, where it is increasingly popular as a food-delicacy.
Many of the feral Guineafowl are the result escaped individuals from private estates (where the birds are farmed for hunting), zoo’s, or illegally released captive animals.
The image above is my favourite of a series that I took whilst back home in Colchester for the festive period. I like the composition, and the way you are drawn to the eye of the Guineafowl. The natural framing using soft-focused foliage really helps direct your gaze, and also adds extra vibrance and colour to the photograph.
Helmeted Guineafowl rarely live alone in the wild, and the image below is of the male Guineafowl, which was always close-in-tow to the female above.