Meleagris gallopavo merriami
This subspecies was named by Dr. E.W. Nelson in 1900 in honor of Clinton Hart Merriam, the first chief of the U.S. Biological Survey.
DESCRIPTION Adult males are clearly distinguished from the Eastern, Osceola, and Rio Grande by the nearly white feathers on the lower back and tail feathers margins. The Merriam's bird closely resembles the Gould's turkey; however neither is it's tail margin quite as white nor the tail quite as wide as the Gould's. Its size is comparable to the Eastern turkey, but has a blacker appearance with blue, purple, and bronze reflections. The Merriam's turkey appears to have a white rump because of it's pinkish, buff, or whitish tail coverts and tips. These tail feather tips are very comspicuous when the strutting gobbler is seen against a dark backgound. The males exhibit black-tipped breast feathers, while the females have buff-tipped breast feathers. The white areas on a hens wings are more extensive, giving a white appearence to the folded wing.
DISTRIBUTION Historic ranges in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado have expanded to include Wyoming, Montana, and parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nevada. It has also been stocked in British Columbia and Alberta.