The Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) was preferred by Benjamin Franklin as the national bird of the United States – he wrote to his daughter in 1784 criticising the choice of the Eagle as the national bird and suggested that a Turkey would have been better. It is resident throughout much of the United States and extreme southern Canada extending south to inland Mexico. The Wild Turkey is one of only two domesticated birds originating in the New World. The other is the Muscovy Duck. European explorers took them to Europe from Mexico in the early 1500s. They were so successfully domesticated there that English colonists brought them back with them when they settled on the Atlantic Coast.