Melissa Mayntz is a bird expert, certified understand Naturalist, writer, and author through over three decades of experience. She's published in several nationwide magazines, consisting of National Wildlife Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and also WildBird Magazine. Melissa has studied thousands of bird species around the world, travel to Mexico, central America, the Caribbean, the central Pacific, the center East, and much more on birding expeditions.

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The Spruce/Jerry Lue

just how They Eat

Wild turkeys forage constantly, always seeking out a brand-new meal or snack. They are most generally found feeding because that several hrs in the beforehand morning just after sunrise, and also will likewise feed an ext actively numerous hours prior to darkness. If food is scarce they will forage at any type of time the day, and also when the flock includes young, hungry chicks, they are much more often foraging throughout the day as well.

While foraging, a wild turkey will scrape with both feet, alternative to use each foot one in ~ a time, climate pecking in ~ the floor to find whatever has actually been uncovered. They will occasionally pluck fruit or various other foods straight off plants, but only rarely forage if perched in trees. A turkey swallows that food whole and also the product is stored in the bird"s chop to be digested tiny by tiny with the assist of the gizzard. ~ feeding, turkeys will regularly roost quietly for several hours while lock digest.

just how Their Diet varies

Though turkeys will eat numerous different things, their diets can be affected by a number of factors, together as:

Season: Turkeys, prefer all animals, select food resources that are most abundant and also easiest to reach. When different foods are numerous in various seasons, turkeys readjust their diet accordingly. In spring, castle eat an ext fresh buds, grasses, and comparable plant material, when insects and also berries are an ext popular fare in summer. In autumn and also winter, nuts, fruits, and grains consist of the mass of a wild turkey's diet.Geography: A bird's location substantially influences the foods it have the right to find. Wild turkeys the are uncovered in an ext forested arrays will have a higher percentage of nuts and also buds in their diet. Turkeys that space in much more open, desert regions may rely on more reptiles, seeds, and cacti for their nutrition. In agricultural regions, wild turkeys deserve to often find much more grain to eat, and also may even be taken into consideration a nuisance or insect in farmers' fields.Age: Young wild turkeys can forage for themselves really quickly, and also the hen will certainly lead she brood to the best available food sources. Because that the an initial month of the birds' lives, lock eat a much greater percentage of insects, mollusks, reptiles, or other meat to acquire the protein necessary for healthy and balanced growth. Together they age they shot a more comprehensive variety of foods and change to a more varied diet depending on what is available. Adult wild turkeys eat largely plant matter but still take benefit of any kind of easily available food, including meat.

Feeding Turkeys

Wild turkeys are not usual as backyard birds, however birders that live near wooded locations may find these huge game birds foraging near their feeders. To administer an sufficient feeding area for wild turkeys:

Plant oak or beech trees in addition to grapes, cherry trees, crabapples, hackberries, and similar trees and also shrubs to carry out an inexpensive, natural, renewable food resource for wild turkeys. Indigenous plants space best since the turkeys will recognize them an ext easily, and the tree will call for less treatment to develop abundant crops to feeding a hungry flock.Minimize or remove herbicides and also insecticides that might contaminate foods wild turkeys eat, an especially during the summer when young bird are more susceptible to toxicity chemicals. Instead, permit turkeys to forage freely and also they will certainly eat numerous bothersome insects.

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Wild turkeys are large game birds with healthy and balanced appetites, and also they sate those appetites v a wide variety of various foods. Birders who understand what wild turkeys eat can more easily setup how to discover these video game birds in the ar by visiting areas where food is abundant. That is even possible to carry out a spot for wild turkeys in ~ a backyard bird-friendly buffet instead of focusing on these birds at the center of a holiday dinner table.