Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wild Turkeys

The Wild Turkey is the largest North American game bird.  Females are brown with slight iridescence, the males' plumage is ruffled iridescent bronze.  He has a large fan tail and bare blue and red skin on his head and neck.

Male and female Wild Turkeys travel in separate groups.  They wander through woods and clearings in search of food.  At night, the birds roost in trees.

During mating season, the males display for the females.  Toms woo hens by strutting their manliness with wings spread, chest puffed up and tail fanned.  He also gobbles and hums alluringly.  The gobble can sometimes be heard a mile away.

Males mate with multiple females and do not participate in rearing the offspring.  The female scratches a depression for a nest on the ground under a shrub or beside a tree trunk.  She doesn't bother much about lining the nest -any dead leaves or plant material that happen to be there suffice.  She lays 4-17 eggs and has one brood per year.  When the youngsters are about 1 day old, they follow mom around and quickly learn to find food on their own.

Some Wild Turkey Facts

-  incubation:  25-31 days

-  nestling:  1 day

-  length:  43-45 inches

-  wingspan:  49-57 inches

-  weight:  88-381 ounces

-  diet:  berries, buds, ferns, seeds, bulbs, moss, nuts, insects, snails, salamanders

-  found in most of the US, parts of Mexico, parts of Canada

-  predators:  coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, mountain lions, Golden Eagles, Great Horned Owls, humans

-  nest predators:  rodents, birds, snakes, woodchucks, foxes, skunks, opossums 

Turkeys are capable of running and flying.  However, they usually choose to walk.


  1. I've never wanted to eat a turkey, but I like them as living creatures!

  2. I have seen them in the wild. It is always a treat.

  3. The males sound like pompous jerks. LOL

  4. What an interesting post. Wild turkeys. Of course. Thanks for reminding me that turkeys are native birds and roam freely. What a nice sight.