Wild Turkey in Winter

a wild turkey walking through grass
Wild turkey (male). Photo by William Stark on Unsplash
wild turkey walking across snow
Wild turkey. Image by Mohan Nannapaneni from Pixabay

Appearance: Wild turkeys are enormous birds about 45″ long with long necks, large prominent red wattles, and snoods (hanging skin from the neck), and a bronze-greenish iridescence to most of their feathers. The feathers also give the appearance of a variety of textures. Their wings are dark, with white bars and a fanned-out tail with rusty or white tips. Their head and neck show their skin with colors of red, blue, and gray. The red neck is unmistakable. The females are similar but lighter in color, they don’t fan their tail feathers, have subtle-looking wattle and snood, and they don’t strut like the male.

Winter diet: Seeds, nuts (acorns, beech nuts, pecans, hickory nuts), and berries.  

Winter feeder food: Wild turkeys do not come to feeders.

Winter habitat: During winter, wild turkeys remain in their year-round territory which includes all US states, the southernmost parts of Canada, and even Mexico. They prefer open forested areas, especially those with nut-producing trees. In the southwest, they can be found in open grassy savannahs.

Wild turkey range map.
Wild turkey range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.