Eastern Turkey (Wild Turkey)

You can hear their gobbles up to a mile away!
Eastern Turkey (Wild Turkey) Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Meleagris gallopavo silvestris
Eastern Turkey (Wild Turkey) Physical Characteristics
Black, Grey-Brown
7 years
5.5 to 24 pounds
Eastern Turkey (Wild Turkey) Distribition

Males have huge featherless, red heads, necks, and wattles, with fleshy developments called caruncles.


The eastern turkey ( Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) is a big upland ground bird belonging to The United States and Canada. It lives in wood woodlands with spread cleanings where it hangs out foraging reduced to the ground or roosting in groups in high trees. These wild birds are loud and singing, revealing themselves with different sounds. Discover all there is to find out about this amazing North American bird, consisting of where it lives, what it consumes, and just how it acts.

5 Incredible Eastern Turkey Realities

  • You can hear their demolish to a mile away!
  • Unlike the residential range, wild turkeys are strong and active fliers.
  • Males do not aid in taking care of their young. Poults succeed their mommy and discover just how to look after themselves right after hatching out.
  • The eastern turkey is one of the most pursued subspecies of wild turkey.
  • They forage with various other animals like deer and squirrels, aiding them remain much more sharp to predators as they feed.

Where to Discover Eastern Turkey

The eastern turkey stays in The United States and Canada in 3 nations: Canada, the USA, and Mexico. The eastern subspecies lives in the whole eastern fifty percent of the USA from Maine to Northern Florida and as much west as Minnesota, Illinois, and Missouri. Its Canadian array expands right into Southeastern Ontario and Southwestern Quebec. They reside in wood woodlands with spread openings like fields, areas, orchards, and seasonal marshes. They favor oak- hickory, red oak, beech, cherry, and white ash in the Northeast. Search for them foraging on the ground or strolling along little shrubs and trees, and pay attention for their numerous articulations.

Eastern Turkey Nest

Females look for nest websites, which are superficial dust anxieties bordered by woody plants. They commonly put their propel a stack of branches and sticks.

Scientific Name

The eastern turkey ( Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) is a subspecies of wild turkey from the Galliformes order, that includes hefty- bodied ground- feeding birds like turkeys, chickens, and quail. The Phasianidae family has a lot of one of the most prominent video game chicken. Meleagris is the turkey genus, incorporating The United States and Canada’s wild turkey and Mexico’s ocellated turkey. There are 6 identified subspecies of wild turkey: Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam’s, Gould’s, and South Mexican.

Dimension, Appearance & Actions

turkeys roaming in the wild
There are 2 households of turkeys: Phasianidae and Meleagrididae.iStock.com/ davidsdodd

Eastern turkeys are huge upland ground birds, determining 30 to 49 inches long and considering 5.5 to 24 extra pounds, with a 4.1 to 4.9- foot wingspan. Females are a lot smaller sized than males, considering 8 extra pounds much less typically. Grownups have black or grey- brownish plumes with a coppery luster. Males have huge featherless, red heads, necks, and wattles, with fleshy developments called caruncles. These components, together with the snood (fleshly flap on the costs), end up being engorged when delighted. They have lengthy follower- designed tails, and their plumes have bronze, gold, red, purple, and rainbowlike locations. Females have duller plumes in tones of brownish and grey.

Wild turkeys are loud, singing birds that share themselves with numerous audios, from gobbles, yelps, clucks, purrs, reduced- pitched drumming, and “spits” (sharp expulsions of air from the air cavity). Their gobbles can be learnt through a mile away! In spite of their substantial dimension, they are quick, active fliers. You might see them flying under the cover, looking for a perch, or sliding reduced to the ground. These birds are reasonably social, roosting in groups and foraging with various other animals like deer and squirrels.

Movement Pattern and Timing

Eastern turkeys are nonmigratory. They might transfer to locations with bigger trees and shut covers for enhanced heat throughout the autumn and winter season.


The eastern turkey is an omnivore that forages in the morning and late mid-day.

What Does Eastern Turkey Eat?

These wild turkeys eat acorns and nuts from different trees like hazel, chestnut, hickory, and want. They likewise take in seeds, berries, buds, leaves, origins, lawns, and insects. And will periodically eat amphibians, salamanders, serpents, and lizards. They forage on the ground or in reduced shrubs and little trees. You can usually discover them feeding in cow fields or checking out yard feeders.

Predators, Risks, and Conservation Status

The IUCN notes the eastern turkey as LC or “least concern.” As a result of its considerable array and huge, enhancing population, this species does not fulfill the “intimidated” standing limits. They do not encounter any kind of serious hazards presently. However they might struggle with the future impacts of environment modification and urbanization. The eastern turkey is one of the most greatly pursued subspecies of wild turkey.

What Consumes Eastern Turkey?

Wild turkey eggs and nestlings are vulnerable to raccoons, opossums, skunks, foxes, groundhogs, and serpents. Poults (chicken young) can be assaulted by raptors, such as owls, hawks, and bald eagles. Grown-up eastern turkey predators consist of fantastic horned owls, north goshawks, residential dogs, cats, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, golden eagles, and alligators. Wild turkeys and their young usually escape when intimidated, yet they might snap boldy when collared. They can kick with their legs and utilize their bony stimulates as tools. They might likewise attack with their beaks and ram with their bodies as a last initiative.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Male eastern turkeys are polygamous and companion with as numerous chickens as feasible. They do their courtship routines throughout March and April while they are still gathered for winter season. Males strut, gobble, boom, drum, and spew to reveal supremacy and bring in companions. Chickens lay 10 to 14 creamy colored eggs and nurture them for 28 days. Their young, or poults, fledge the nest 12 to 1 day after hatching out. Nonetheless, they stick with their mommy for around 4 months. Males, or “toms,” come to be sexually fully grown at 7 months old, and chickens around one to 2 years. Their typical life-span is 7 years, yet they can endure as much as 13.


The international eastern turkey population is unidentified, yet their numbers have actually dramatically enhanced in The United States and Canada over the last 40 years. They are likewise not experiencing severe changes or fragmentations in their populaces.


  1. Redlist / Bird Life International, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22679525/132051953

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