The guinea fowl native to eastern Africa is quite similar to the native North American turkey. The English imported the African guinea fowl long before the North American turkey was discovered by European settlers. But, the English didn’t get the bird from Africa, they got it through the Ottoman Empire, the land of the Turks, modern-day Turkey. So the bird became known in England as the turkey. When European settlers in America traded with England the North American bird with no name also became known as the turkey in England because of its resemblance to the African guinea fowl by the same name. Americans adopted the name the English gave it, and the North American bird became popularly known as the turkey.