The Eastern wild turkey is the most common turkey found in the United States and Canada. It also has the widest range of all five subspecies.
They live in diverse habitats but you can often find them in and near hardwood force and agricultural fields. The eastern wild turkey is the biggest of the five subspecies, adult male turkeys are also known as a Tom or gobbler averaged just over 3 feet in height and weigh up to 25 pounds. Juvenile male turkeys also known as Jake’s will typically be 2 & 1/2 to 3 feet in height and average 16 pounds while female turkeys known as hens are slightly smaller than Jake’s and weigh around 9 pounds to help keep them warm and protected from the elements.
An adult turkey grows 5 to 6,000 dark yet colorful feathers that appear to change colors when the light hits them at different angles. They also have some of the best eyesight of any animal their head’s side-eyes are venomous which is giving them an almost 360-degree field of vision. They also have excellent color and depth perception and don’t have to move their concern to see the specific object at different distances meaning everything in Turkey’s view is always in focus.
Though wild turkeys generally sleep or roost high up in trees when it comes time to laying their eggs hens prefer the ground Eastern wild turkeys lay their eggs from late March to may typically laying an average of 8 to 12 eggs. This process takes one to two weeks to complete as haddon.
Turkeys usually only lay one egg a day and to be able to lay that egg they first need to be bred by a male turkey typically at all unlike other birds that will collect debris to create a nest turkeys often lay their eggs directly on the ground. Sometimes in a grassy area protected by overgrown bushes the incubation period lasts 26 twenty-eight days.
Once the incubation period has passed the eggs may hatch within a 24-hour period the courting phase is the most important and often the most entertaining time when it comes to turkeys. This phase happens just before and during the breeding and nesting period that Tom shows its courting behaviors much like a peacock with exciting displays of their tail feathers.
Turkey bird matting
They first engaged small muscles attached to their body feathers to manipulate the position of the feathers and stand erect appearing like they have puff themselves up creating the illusion. They are bigger than they really are shortly after they quickly and most dramatically spread their eighteen tail feathers into a dazzling display in hopes of catching the eye of a nearby hen.
This whole process is often referred to as strutting or full strut the top of the toms head is typically pure white when he’s strutting while the rest of the face and down through the neck can be in a range of blues reds and whites which they have control over these changing colors show. Other turkeys what type of mood they’re in the color changing process is done by contracting and relaxing small blood vessels under the skin.
The fleshy worm-like piece of skin that is positioned in front of the eyes and just above the beak is referred to as the snood. This also has the ability to change colors along with its shape ranging from short and stubby to long and colorful. Though strutting is used to attract a hen it’s also used to show intimidation and dominance over other male turkeys and can often be seen outside the typical courting season.
Turkey bird facts
Most notably male turkeys produce a loud and unique vocalization called gobble. A gobble can be heard a mile or more away and is used for a variety of situations but as well known as the gobble is turkeys spend most of their time clucking and purring to one another.
These much lower volume calls can be hard to hear unless very close to the bird the different types of clucks and purrs can mean many things from friendly and courting purrs aggressive fighting purrs and even warning clucks to alert everyone that danger is near.