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 >
A group of wild turkeys is called a flock, whereas a group of domesticated turkeys is known as a rafter or gang. For most of the year, these flocks comprise at least 30 turkeys.Full Answer >
Male turkeys have testicles located within the body, just above the kidneys. The testicles are bean-shaped and produce testosterone, which contributes to the development of the male reproductive tract, courting behavior and aggressiveness.Full Answer >
Adult turkeys have anywhere between 5,000 to 6,000 feathers on their body. These feathers are arranged in unique patterns, known as feather tracts. The turkeys' feathers are responsible for keeping them warm, helping them attract a mate during mating season and even aiding them in flying up to speeds of over 55 miles per hour.Full Answer >