Wild Turkey Reproduction

Wild Turkey Information ... Wild Turkey Description ... Turkeys
Wild Turkey - Displaying Male (Meleagris gallopavo)

Mating Ritual:

The male wild turkey has a conspicuously bright coloring of plumage. It is usually iridescent brown. In the way of attracting females, they are very much like peacocks. They have fan-like fancy tails and a cocky strut.

They occupy a comfortable position on trees and gobble for hens. Courtship ritual is reminiscent of some exquisite dance.

The wild turkey is one of the largest birds in North America. An adult male can grow up to 4 feet long from his beak to his tail.

Reproduction / Breeding:

Hens incubates average of 10-12 eggs for 27-28 days (in northeastern Colorado, most nests are initiated mid-April to mid-May).

Hatching begins in May in southern range, usually early June in north. Young are tended by female; brood stay together until winter.

Females first breed as yearlings.

An Idaho study compared nest success and initiation rates between resident and introduced hens and found no significant difference.

Wild Turkey - Displaying Male (Meleagris gallopavo) - from backWild Turkey - Displaying Male (Meleagris gallopavo)

Wild Turkey Female and Young

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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