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Wild Turkey: Summer Survey

Wild turkey poults

Photo courtesy of Glenn Whittington

Thank you for participating in the 2021 Wild turkey summer survey!

We appreciate the many wild turkey sightings that were reported this year between June 1 and Aug. 31. The information from this annual survey provides valuable insights about the distribution and abundance of Florida’s wild turkey population. 

While the 2021 reporting period has ended, we hope you'll take part in this important effort next year.

Check back to this website in October to see a summary of the 2021 wild turkey summer survey.

Wild Turkey Summer Survey Reports

Why the Survey is Important

Wild turkeys are abundant in Florida and are found throughout the state.

Nesting success can vary each year based on several factors including weather conditions, predation, and habitat characteristics/quality. Fluctuations in nesting success and brood survival strongly influence wild turkey populations. When reproduction in a given year is good, populations tend to increase in subsequent years. By reporting wild turkey sightings, you're helping provide a way to gauge wild turkey nesting success, brood survival, and population dynamics at statewide and regional levels. 

Florida’s annual summer wild turkey survey is part of a larger regional study designed to provide more insight into the distribution and abundance of wild turkeys. The information, combined with harvest data, lets FWC biologists scientifically manage the wild turkey population—ensuring we have a thriving population now and in the future.

Poults

Photo courtesy of Glenn Whittington

Turkey Nest

About Nesting and Brood Rearing

  • In Florida, wild turkeys begin breeding in late February and early March.
  • Egg laying usually begins in mid-to late March, though nesting dates can range from early March to June.
  • Hens create a nest by scratching a shallow depression in the soil where she lays an average of 9 to 11 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. Hens do all the incubating and brood rearing.
  • Newly hatched wild turkeys, called poults, are highly mobile and can feed themselves soon after hatching.
  • Poults are flightless until they are about 2 weeks old and roost on the ground under the hen’s wings and tail during that time. Between 2 to 4 weeks of age, they begin to fly into low branches or small trees to roost.
  • Poults eat primarily insects during the summer. They need higher levels of protein for rapid growth and flight feather development.
  • Learn more about wild turkeys and wild turkey management.