Royal Palm and the Standard of Perfection


10 Years
Jun 30, 2010
Aitkin, MN
I have never looked at the standard of perfection until very recently. I haven't done much breeding, and I don't do any showing so it wasn't very relevant to me. But I am starting to do a little breeding so I thought it would be a good idea to look up what my birds should look like.

For royal palms, disqualifications include "absence of black bands in the main tail and greater coverts." (2001 edition). In the description, black bands are described on the tail coverts and the wing coverts. The illustration clearly shows black bands on the main tail feathers and the tail coverts, producing a tail with two black bands.

What bothers me is that none of my royal palms have the black band on the tail coverts, and more surprising, I cannot find a picture of a royal palm with this secondary tail band. I have looked at photos on this site, found some in magazines, looked at some hatchery sites. No bands on the tail coverts!

So me questions include... Does anyone actually have royal palms with banded tail coverts? Am I misinterpreting the text of the Standard? Is the illustration incorrect? Has the black band been bred out of royal palms and everyone just looks the other way?
Never mind. I thought I had found you a picture of one but after posting it and looking closer at it, it didn't seam to have the banded coverlets either.
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I am not sure what a tail coverts are. Is that right above the tail off the back? This is a blue palm. I will have to get some picture of my royal palms today. I use to show animals for years, I found it took the fun out of it for me. I have never shown turkeys. I have read the standards of perfection. I breed more non standard varietys. I breed for fun for me. I would miss alot of my favorite birds if I had to many rules to follow.

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tail coverts are more noticeable on none strutting toms. You can start to notice it on my young one, who is only 3-4 months old now. hes starting to grow them in. the last ring of black. (there are some feathers not in yet. but its coming) my other tom would have been a better picture since he is fully grown but he is going threw a molting stage and lost all his tail feathers and coverts.

This is a hen I bought from NapoleanGoose. She took a first place at her county fair.


I noticed on my Golden Blue Palm, her tail coverts are red.


OK....Omabirds golden blue palm has a faint red band where royal palms are supposed to have a second black band. Sara F's bird is young, and the black near the base of the tail looks like main tail feathers starting to grow out, rather than a band along the coverts. Does anyone have a good picture of a royal palm with a black band on the tail coverts?

There are several different coverts in birds, so for clarification, upper tail coverts (which I believe the standard calls greater coverts) are the feathers in the tail that grow out about half the length of the main tail feathers. In standard bronze, these feathers cause the second tan band in the tail (closest to the base of the tail) The lesser coverts are the feathers that stand up on the rear half of the turkey's back when displaying (much of the black back in a royal palm). Wing coverts are the long feathers that seperate the wing from the back plumage in a standing bird. They are the grey bar in Narragansetts.
This hen I am calling a chocolate blue palm also has the second band. I don't have many royal palms. I keep mostly non standard birds. Those I do have are from blue palm to blue palm crosses.

I am wondering if perhaps when the tom displays, the bands may line up when the tail is raised and make it look like a single band?
This turkey does not have clean crisp markings. It is young still, and might have a single penciling gene that makes it look like this. Does it look like three bands or is that just new feathers growing in?


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