Wild turkeys sleep in trees at night to protect themselves from predators because they cannot see very well at night. Turkeys fly up into a tree at nightfall and then come back down at daybreak to carry on with their regular daily routine. They are active during the day and spend most of the daylight on the ground.
Native to the Nearctic region, wild turkeys live mostly in the eastern US, while patches of them can be found in western parts of the United States and northern Mexico. Wild turkeys stay in the same location year round and do not migrate. An ideal habitat for wild turkeys include mixed-conifer hardwood forests and regular hardwood forests with openings that lead to pastures, orchards and fields.
As omnivores, wild turkeys eat acorns, seeds, buds, salamanders, insects, leaves and roots. Turkeys in the wild are excellent fliers and can fly straight up 50-feet to roost in trees at night. They are also fast runners, allowing them to run away from predators. If they cannot outrun a predator, they can quickly get away from them by flying. The most common predators of wild turkeys include raccoons, gray foxes, birds, woodchucks, opossums, bobcats and coyotes.
Wild turkeys are social creatures and communicate with one another using body signals and calls. In the winter they form bands, which are groups. Some bands of turkeys are more dominant over other bands.Learn More
The natural diet of the wild turkey is omnivorous with the majority of it being plant matter, although the turkey also opportunistically eats insects and other small animals. Turkeys are foragers, and their diet changes with the location and season.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 >
Turkeys lay eggs. After mating season, which can arrive anywhere between February and April, turkeys nest near the ground in well-vegetated areas. They lay 10 to 12 eggs during a laying period, which, on average, amounts to laying one egg per day.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >