Zoom November 2010

William Bradford was governor of Plymouth Plantation, the settlement famously established in what is now Massachusetts by passengers of the Mayflower in 1620. This particular part of Bradford’s monumental text about the colony (citing the contents of Native American food stores drawn from for the first Thanksgiving in 1621) is believed to be the genesis of the turkey’s strongly established link to that holiday. And so the turkey went from just another edible wild bird to an American icon. The fact that it was a “great store” is evidence for the extensive population of wild turkeys in the area. Long Island shared this plentiful population, but a salvo of circumstances made the wild turkey extinct on Long Island; deforesting for farmland, unregulated hunting and disease wiped them out by the mid-19th century. This situation changed in the early 1990s when the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation transplanted 75 wild turkeys from upstate New York. Nowadays, there are more than 3,000 turkeys running wild in the LI wilderness. Shown Here: Macro of turkey feather.

michael isenbek

Michael Isenbek, Associate Editor, dabbles in both fiction and nonfiction writing, coordinates the Pulse event listings and writes the text for "Zoom," among other editorial tasks. He has a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Journalism from SUNY Empire State College.