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Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey
Bird. Wild turkeys are very strong fliers, reaching speeds of up to 88 kilometers (55 miles) per hour over short distances. They are also swift runners and can run up to 19 kph (12 mph) for short distances. Turkeys run in flocks and at night will roost in the low branches of trees. They have keen eyesight and hearing. The bare skin on the throat and head of a turkey can change color from flat gray to striking shades of blue, red, and white when the bird becomes distressed or excited. Throughout the summer and fall, wild turkeys' primary objective is to gain enough fat reserves to sustain them through winter.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Meleagris gallopavo 10 years
Omnivore. Insects, snails, acorns, fruits, and shrubs.
Predators and Threats
Raccoons, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and humans. Turkey eggs are taken by raccoons, skunks, opossums, crows, and snakes.
Grassy fields, mature forests (bottomland and upland hardwoods, pine-hardwood, pine) interspersed with open areas (pastures, hayfields); Continental United States, not in Alaska.