I recently posted about four unknown tom turkeys showing up in the wooded lot. I was basing my identification on the fact that the toms all had long red snoods hanging beside their beaks as they paraded around in full display.
It turns out they were just the young "jakes" of the resident tribe. I didn't recognize them because the young males normally have just a short protrusion on top of their beak.
I have learned that when the male turkeys (also called gobblers) start displaying their tail feathers and dancing around, the protrusion becomes engorged and grows longer. According to a university study, females prefer males with a longer snood so it's an advantage for mating and indicates good health.
That concludes our snood lesson for today.