Six facts about Wild Turkeys

By Taylor on November 24, 2014 in Blog


INHF is getting in the Thanksgiving spirit. Did you know these six facts about Wild Turkeys? Brush up on your gobbler knowledge:

Fun Facts:

1) The wild turkey was hunted nearly to extinction by the early 1900s, when the population reached a low of around 30,000 birds. But restoration programs across North America have brought the numbers up to seven million today.

2) There are six subspecies of wild turkey, all native to North America.

3) Male turkeys are called “gobblers,” after the “gobble” call they make to announce themselves to females (which are called “hens”) and compete with other males. Other turkey sounds include “purrs,” “yelps” and “kee-kees.”

4) An adult gobbler weighs 16 to 22 pounds on average, has a beard of modified feathers on his breast that reaches seven inches or more long and has sharp spurs on his legs for fighting. A hen is smaller, weighing around 8 to 12 pounds, and has no beard or spurs. Both genders have a snood (a dangly appendage on the face), wattle (the red dangly bit under the chin) and only a few feathers on the head.

5) Turkeys can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and fly as fast as 55 miles per hour.

6) Baby turkeys, called poults, eat berries, seeds and insects, while adults have a more varied diet that can include acorns and even small reptiles.

*Read more facts from the Smithsonian magazine