Male wild turkeys mate by strutting, displaying their tail feathers and gobbling to attract females, which then build ground nests and usually lay eight to 15 eggs. They are a polygynous species and breed once annually. Turkey courtship typically takes place in January or February.Know More
During the strutting ritual, males walk with their wings lowered to the ground and their tails fanned out, which makes them appear imposing and heavily plumed. Many males roost in trees while shouting out mating calls. The sound of their noisy gobbling carries more than a mile away, according to Animal Diversity Web. A wild turkey can become sexually mature within 10 months of hatching, but the youngest males often lack the ability to compete for mates.
Once pregnant, females search for a suitable nesting ground near fields or woodlands and take full responsibility as caregivers. They store their eggs in shallow holes in the ground covered by foliage, which conceals them from predators, such as skunks, raccoons, foxes and bobcats. Females may also save time by simply taking over an existing nest used by other turkeys or wild fowl. Wild turkeys usually incubate their eggs for up to 31 days, and the resulting hatchlings are capable of walking and foraging within one day of being born. While male turkeys leave their young before they hatch, most females look after their hatchlings until the next spring.Learn more about Birds
Though the gobble is most closely associated with its use by male turkeys as a mating call, turkey hens are also capable of gobbling. In that sense, then, all turkeys are theoretically capable of gobbling, though this vocalization is most frequently used by males during the early spring mating season.Full Answer >
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, wild turkeys are able to swim. They pull their wings close to their bodies, spread out their tails and kick.Full Answer >
Wild turkeys can fly at speeds up to 55 miles per hour, according to the National Wild Turkey Federation. Turkeys are also fast runners and have been clocked at speeds up to 25 miles per hour.Full Answer >
There is a popular myth that turkeys look up into the sky with their mouths open when it rains, which supposedly causes them to drown. This myth has been debunked by scientists.Full Answer >