Did you know that Turkeys are powerful fliers, especially for short distances. Speeds of up to 55 mph have been observed. To conserve energy, turkeys primarily walk. They spend most of their time on the ground, where they search for acorns, seeds, fruits, insects, leaves, and small vertebrates. They can easily cover several hundred acres in a day.
Wild turkeys are social animals and typically flock together in groups numbering just a few birds to as many as 20 or more. They are extremely wary and will run away or fly to a tree to escape danger. For safety from ground predators, turkeys roost at night in trees within thicker forest stands.
Courtship occurs during spring. The male, also known as a gobbler or tom, will strut, fan out its tail and gobble to attract hens. During these displays, the skin on the male turkey’s head turns bright blue and white, and the caruncles become swollen and turn bright red.
Wild turkey hens in Florida typically begin nesting in late March or early April. The female builds a shallow nest on the ground where she lays an average of 9 to11 eggs. It takes approximately 12-13 days to lay the full clutch of eggs and another 25-26 days of continuous incubation for them to hatch. Newly hatched turkeys, called poults, are highly mobile and can feed themselves soon after hatching. For roughly two weeks after hatching, broods will roost on the ground until the poults develop enough to be able to fly into low branches or small trees.