Several characteristics distinguish the genders of wild and domestics turkeys. In general, males, known as "gobblers" or "toms," are larger than the female hens. Wild toms usually range in weight from 16 to 24 pounds, while their mates average 8 to 10 pounds. Domestic turkeys can be bred to much larger sizes. The wild tom's body feathers can be colored iridescent shades of gold, bronze, copper, red and green. The females' body feathers are typically drab-colored -- muted shades of gray or brown that provide excellent camouflage when nesting,
Domestic toms offer up squeaky gobbles in response to almost any sound, but the wild toms are much less vocal. Wild and domestic hens make various noises with interesting names: kee-kee, purr, cut and yelp. The heads of wild males are usually brightly colored and lightly feathered, and toms can rapidly vary the color among red, white and blue during the breeding season. Hens' heads are gray or blue. Male turkeys grow clusters of long, hairlike feathers, known as a beard, from the center of the chest; only about 10 to 20 percent of females grow beards. Wild toms grow large leg spurs, up to 2.25 inches long. Males can also be identified by their practice of fanning their tail feathers when courting females.