Q:

Do wild turkeys sleep in trees?

A:

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.

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