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News Story
Updated: 06/18/2014 12:23:28AM

It’s wild turkey nesting time

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PHOTO PROVIDED BY WIKIMEDIA.ORG (D. GORDON E. ROBINSON)

The wld turkey hen and poults leave the nest shortly after all are hatched. By the time the poults are a week old they begin to fly, and by two weeks of age are roosting in trees.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY WIKIMEDIA.ORG (D. GORDON E. ROBINSON)

Wild turkey hens build a crude nest on the ground. The shallow depression is well concealed in vegetation. When the hen leaves the nest, she covers the eggs with dry leaves. Clutches average about ten eggs. Eggs are a bit larger than a hen’s egg and buff colored with brown and black speckles.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY WIKIMEDIA.ORG (KEN THOMAS)

Male turkeys have a cluster of feathers that hangs down from the breast known as a ‘beard,’ but occasionally hens have a beard also. The wild turkey is a swift runner and will often run a considerable distance before taking flight. They are powerful fliers, especially for short distances.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY WIKIMEDIA.ORG (KEN THOMAS)

DeSoto County has the habitat to support a good population of wild turkeys, but you typically won’t see these birds unless they have become accustomed to visiting a regular food source such as a game feeder. These birds are elusive and masters at detection of any movement.

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Wild turkey hens are nesting now, and spring gobbler hunting season is under way. (Check www.myfwc.com for dates and regulations.)

The wild turkey is said to be the wariest of game birds. DeSoto County has the habitat to support a good population of wild turkeys, but you typically won’t see these birds unless they have become accustomed to visiting a regular food source such as a game feeder. These birds are elusive and masters at detection of any movement. Meleagris gallopavo is known for its crafty secretive behavior.

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