Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Male and female turkeys gather in separate flocks to spend fall and winter feeding on nuts and berries. By early spring, males quarrel and stake out territories for courting. In early morning, almost any loud sound, even a car door slamming, can trigger a round of gobbling. When one gobbler hears another, they volley back and forth, vying for the last word and any hens in the area. Perhaps our phrase, “Let's talk turkey” is related to this exchange between competing males, being reminiscent of the haggling over a price that was common in early marketplaces. Or perhaps it relates to the singularity of purpose a gobbler has when the mating season comes. When a turkey gobbles, his hens and rivals know he means business.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For the 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.