Exciting news! The Montclair Bird Club announced today the likely discovery of a new bird species, the Wild Turducken, a heretofore-undocumented upland bird of northern New Jersey.
The new species is believed to be a hybrid of a Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata), Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) and a Jersey Giant Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), according to the Allendale Ornithology Institute (AOI).
“To discover such a rare new breed in the middle of suburbia is literally unbelievable,” said David Wheeler, Executive Director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation.
Here are some highlights from the announcement:
The free-range Turducken makes its home in North Haledon on Nature Conservancy land near the summit of the 1,260-ace High Mountain Park Preserve, located in the Watchung Mountains.
The first known sighting of the elusive bird was in the woods at the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale, N.J., on April 1, 2016, by Joseph Koscielny of Oakland, N.J. Koscielny found a primary feather from the bird nearby, and the AOI sent it by courier pouch to the National Paraphyletic Avian Research Foundation in Patuxent, Md., for DNA testing.
Additional DNA research confirmed that the Wild Turducken is a distant relative of the Bare-fronted Hoodwink, an uplands bird displayed in the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, on this date in 1975.
Jim Wright, the author of “The Real James Bond,” the biography of the noted Philadelphia ornithologist and identity-theft victim, urged the AOI board of trustees to name the potentially new species Turduckensis flemingii in honor of thriller writer Ian Fleming.
“When James Bond’s wife Mary wrote to Fleming and accused him of stealing her husband’s name, Fleming admitted his guilt,” Wright explained. “He then offered the real James Bond ‘unlimited use of the name Ian Fleming for any purpose he may think fit. Perhaps one day he will discover a horrible new species which he would like to christen in insulting fashion.’
“In the spirit of the real J.B., I asked that the Wild Turducken be named in the legendary 007 author’s honor, and the AOI is considering it,” said Wright. “I hope that someday the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia will name a new species far more horrible than the Wild Turducken after Ian Fleming -- like a hideous pink-colored wading bird called a ‘Flemingo’.”
The Allendale Ornithological Institute is known for its cutting-edge avian research. For more information, contact the Allendale Ornithological Institute at [email protected]
You can download the announcement, on Page 4 of the Montclair Bird Club's April newsletter, here:
Kudos to the Montclair Bird Club for breaking this incredible news!