As it is the 4th of July I thought I’d mention some of the species that can be seen at the nature centre that can be found living wild in the USA.
Most people are familiar with the turkey but may not realise they originated in the forests of North America. Wild turkeys are smaller than the domesticated breeds and so are able to fly strongly.
We keep Norfolk black turkeys, a traditional breed, and visitors seem to either love them or ‘hate’ them, especially the males, who can be quite intimidating when they are displaying.
Burrowing owls are found on prairies, farmland and other areas with low growing vegetation. As their name suggests they nest and sleep in burrows, often using ones dug by other animals.
Unlike most owls they are active during the day and as well as small mammals and lizards they eat a lot of insects. Ours like catching locusts, crickets and large mealworms when they are scattered arounf the aviary.
Red-eared terrapins are from the southern USA but they can be found in ponds and lakes all over England where unwanted pets have been released. Unfortunately, they have large appetites and will eat almost anything they can grab from pond plants and fish to young waterbirds. Most of our terrapins have come from the ponds around Crawley.