Here’s a close-up of the tom turkey in yesterday’s black & white photo. Note the coppery sheen of the band of feathers on the left side of this photo, just above the bold black and white bands. The Bronze turkey takes its name from the coloring reflected in the sunlight, and that copper band diffentiates it most clearly from the coloring of wild turkeys. Their feathers reflect pretty colors in sunlight too, but they don’t gleam like new pennies. This tom is a pretty good example of the Kardosh strain of Bronze’s coloring, but not the best I’ve seen.

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to visit Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch in Kansas. The owner, Frank Reese, is well known for his work in preserving the Bronze and other poultry strains. He selects for both utility and beauty, and he has some of the best-looking birds I’ve ever seen — Bronze toms with strong, sturdy legs, meaty breasts, gentle natures, and that new penny shine. If he ever offers breeding stock for sale to the public, I’ll be first in line with my checkbook.