Skip to content

Can turkeys read?

December 28, 2011

FeederWatcher Claire Goldthwaite snapped this unlikely photo of Wild Turkeys crossing the road at exactly the right spot. According to Claire, “Turkeys here are very law-abiding; they observe the Wild Turkey Crossing Zone, single-file of course.  Except when it snows, then they walk up the street.”

Wild Turkey

Why did the turkey cross the road? Photo by Claire Goldthwaite

Wild Turkey populations have recovered and are now doing quite well after being extirpated from much of their range in the last century. Read more about Wild Turkeys on All About Birds.

  1. Claire Goldthwaite permalink
    December 28, 2011 1:23 pm

    I hope you enjoy the photo as much as I did taking it. That’s the turkeys’ preferred street crossing area, so when it snowed right after I put up the sign I trotted over to get a photo of turkey tracks next to the sign. I was annoyed to see all of the tracks suddenly turning up the street rather than by the sign. Once the snow melted, though, they were back on their usual track.

    A few years ago the snow plows blocked the street entrance to the ground feeding area and the turkeys kept walking up and down the street trying to figure out how to get in without having to walk in snow. Fly? Apparently not the first thought in a turkey’s head. They’ve learned now to walk up my driveway and use the path I shovel for myself to fill the feeders.

    They do fly when it suits them. There’s a sharp drop-off across the street so they can fly straight out and end up in the upper branches of major trees.

    I really enjoy watching turkeys.

  2. January 26, 2012 6:21 am

    Terrific photo, excellent example of being at the right place at the right time!

  3. January 26, 2012 1:00 pm

    I agree … right place at the right time.
    What a wonderful moment to capture!

  4. Carl permalink
    February 29, 2012 8:42 pm

    Turkey feeders? We have wild turkeys around us. I’ve thought of a feeder but don’t know what to put out. Any suggestions?

    • Claire Goldthwaite permalink
      March 1, 2012 4:24 pm

      I throw various mixed birdseed on the ground near my hanging feeders and the turkeys happily forage there. I also put nyjer seed along a path visible from my computer window, supposedly for the sparrows/juncos and finches, but the turkeys REALLY love nyjer.

      I learned the hard way to hang nyjer socks high off the ground – a turkey will peck a hole in a low-hanging sock and gobble up (pun intended) the nyjer that spills out.


  5. Simeon permalink
    July 15, 2012 9:46 am

    Feeding turkeys? Isn’t it generally the other way round?

Comments are closed.