10 Facts You Don’t Know About Turkeys

 The Gobbler Mating Cry.

Male turkeys are called “gobblers,” after the “gobble” call they make to announce themselves to females (“hens”) and compete with other males. Other turkey sounds include “purrs,” “yelps” and “kee-kees.” (Fact from Smithsonian)

Quick on Their Feet, but Faster to Fly.

Turkeys can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and fly as fast as 55 miles per hour. (Fact from Smithsonian)

Social by Nature.

Turkeys form strong social bonds with their family and flock mates. In the wild they sometimes travel in groups of 200 or more. When a turkey is removed from her group, she becomes distressed and calls to her flockmates until she is reunited with them. Turkeys recognize each other by their unique voices. (Fact from Farm Sanctuary)


They Show Emotion…Literally.

The color of a turkey’s head and throat will change depending on his mood. When a male turkey is excited, his head will turn blue. When he is feeling stressed, his head will turn bright red. The color shifts and changes many times throughout the day as he feels various levels of stress and relaxation. (Fact from Farm Sanctuary)

Visionary Birds.

Turkeys have great hearing , but no external ears. They have a field of vision of about 270 degrees and are able to see in color. They can see movement almost a hundred yards away. (Fact from VeganPeace.com)

Patriotic Roots.

Benjamin Franklin would have preferred to see the Turkey as the national bird of the United States instead of the Bald Eagle. “…For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.” – Benjamin Franklin, 1784 (Fact from PBS)

Facts about Turkeys

(Photo: mnn.com)

Turkeys Like to Be Petted.

Many turkeys, even those who have known great cruelty at human hands, will happily sit for hours having their feathers stroked. (Fact from Freefromharm.org)

Once Considered Sacred Jewels.

The turkey is believed to have been sacred in ancient Mexican cultures. The Mayans, Aztecs and Toltecs referred to the turkey as the ‘Great Xolotl’, viewing them as ‘jeweled birds’. (Fact from Onekind.org)

Tree Dwellers.

Turkeys prefer to sleep perched atop tree branches, where they are safe from predators, which include coyotes, foxes and raccoons. They often sleep in flocks, and upon waking, call out a series of soft yelps before descending to make sure that the rest of their roosting group is okay after a night of not seeing or hearing one another. (Fact from Livescience.com)

Alpha Status.

Like many predatory or social species, Turkeys communities are characterized by social stratification. In other words, there is such thing as an “Alpha Turkey.” Male Turkeys will battle each other, establish a dominant male and he gets to mate. (Fact from National Geographic)


Adopt a Turkey! 


Break your habits. Break the cruelty.

Over 300 million turkeys are killed each year in the United States. Turkeys who are hatched in slaughterhouses and bred for meat are often overfed, beaten, and tortured. They live an average of 5-6 months as opposed to the wild turkey lifespan of 10 years. Read the Full Story.


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