Wild Turkey numbers were
seriously depleted by the beginning of the 20th century, but have gradually
increased in numbers and in range, thanks in part to reintroduction
efforts. Despite its large size, the Wild Turkey is a strong flier, and
typically roosts at night in tall trees. Note the males courtship posture
in many of the photos below, strutting with spread tail feathers for nearby females.
Habitat: Prefers woodland edges or near woodland
Diet: Omnivorous. May feed on
seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, roots, insects, snakes, frogs, lizards, and
Behavior: Forages by walking slowly along the
ground, grabbing food items from the ground or low in the vegetation.
Typically most active near dawn and dusk.
Nesting: April through July. The nest of a Wild
Turkey is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with a bit of vegetative
material. The female usually lays between 10 and 15 eggs, and she alone
incubates them. When the eggs hatch, the young leave the nest almost
immediately. The female will tend to the young and protect them, but the
young feed themselves.
Song: Loud gobbling, also various clucking
Migration: Generally permanent residents, although some may wander in the fall.
Similar Species: Unique, not likely to be confused
with another species.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Wild Turkey"
Photo Information: January 15th, 2012 - Minnehaha
County, South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Wild Turkey photos.