Where Do Turkeys Sleep (Roost)?

where do turkeys sleep at night

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Where do turkeys sleep?

If you’re new to turkey behavior, you may have asked yourself, “Where do turkeys sleep?” Well, turkeys sleep – or “roost” – in mature trees with limbs straight enough and large enough to support their size. Turkeys oftentimes choose to sleep in trees in or near riparian zones.

Riparian zones are the areas that butt up against bodies of water, such as rivers, creeks, and streams. Sleeping over water gives them water to drink late in the evenings and first thing in the morning, but also provides them with added security from predators.

Where do turkeys roost when there isn’t a river, stream, or creek present?

where do turkeys sleep

Where do wild turkeys sleep without water present?

Although turkeys usually prefer to roost over water, they don’t exclusively sleep in only areas where there is a body of water present.

In agricultural lands, turkeys can often be found sleeping in trees that are found right on a field edge, ready to fly down early in the morning to begin feeding.

In hill country where there aren’t agricultural lands available, turkeys often sleep on the tops of ridges where their vocalizations can ring out far and wide in the mornings before they fly down from their perch.

where do turkeys sleep in the winter

Where do turkeys sleep in the winter?

Turkeys are always going to sleep in a tree except when a hen is incubating and during the first two weeks of her poults’ lives. She and they will be on the ground during that period.

This is the most dangerous time in a turkey’s life, where they are much more susceptible to predation.

Where do turkeys sleep in the winter versus other times of year? It depends. Some turkeys will stay in the same general area, using the same trees all year long.

Human pressure, as well as that of other predators, can have an impact. Also, major changes in food sources that occur at the changing of seasons plays a large role on where a turkey will roost in the winter.

In agricultural lands where turkeys usually have plenty to eat all year long, they may sleep in the same areas, never leaving.

Turkeys in heavily timbered areas may leave to find better food sources with the loss of vegetation and insects at the onset of winter.

where do turkeys sleep in storm

Where do turkeys sleep during a storm?

Due to the risk of predation, turkeys still roost in a tree when it’s storming. The only thing that may change about their desired roosting tree is its location.

Turkeys may choose a tree to roost in that is somewhat sheltered from hard winds, such as in a river bottom.

where do wild turkeys sleep

Where do turkeys sleep when they're nesting?

When a hen is incubating her nest, that is where she stays. She stays until her poults hatch, or until a predator forces her to leave, and then they all sleep on the ground for about another two weeks before being able to fly up to roost in a tree.

Other than that, turkeys will always sleep in a tree.

Video - Flock Roosting For The Night

Check out the video below to see for yourself!

For more information on wild turkeys and what you can do to help preserve them for future generations, visit the National Wild Turkey Federation

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