Wild Turkey HabitsWild turkeys roost in trees at night. They fly to their roosts at about sunset and fly to the ground at first light where they feed until mid-morning. They will often roost again for a short period in mid-morning and feeding will resume in the afternoon.
Turkeys can cover several miles during the course of the day while feeding. Gobbling starts before sunrise often while they are still on a roost. Gobblers strut to attract hens prior to and during the breeding season.
Young gobblers can be distinguished from adults by the longer middle tail feathers of the fan, the length of their beard, and their size.
11 Facts About Turkeys
- The turkey is a large game bird native to North American forested areas.
- An adult male wild turkey is about 1.2 m (4 ft) long and has metallic greenish, bronze, or brownish plumage, broad rounded wings and tail, and long, slim, spurred legs.
- Their field of vision is about 270 degrees.
- A tuft of hair like feathers (beard) hangs from the breast.
- A fleshy growth called a snood hangs from the front of the head.
- Brightly colored growths called caruncles and a pouchlike area called a wattle mark the throat region.
- Turkeys feed on acorns, seeds, berries, and insects.
- The hen incubates the 11 to 20 pale spotted eggs for about 28 days.
- The young are called poults. Turkey can run at speeds up to 20 miles per hour.
- Turkey can reach flight speeds of 50-55 mph in a matter of seconds.
- Two species--the wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, of the eastern and central United States and Mexico, and the ocellated turkey, Agriocharis ocellata, of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and adjacent areas--make up the family Meleagrididae, which is classified with pheasants in the order Galliformes. The smaller ocellated turkey lacks the tuft of breast feathers, is more brilliantly colored, and has bright eyespots on the tail coverts.