Turkey roost


I have occasionally attended a turkey roast, but this was the first time I had seen a turkey roost.

Wild turkeys are not native to this region (when I was a child, there were none to be seen). However, hunting lobbies persuaded Washington State (to our immediate south) to introduce them in the 1960s, and an aggressive introduction program began in the mid-1980s. From there, turkeys spread, first into Idaho, and then into BC. 

While local hunters are allowed to bag them, most people view Wild Turkeys as a curiosity, and maybe a nuisance when they block highways and forage on lawns.

Wild Turkeys do not feed at night, but roost in trees as a protection from predators. It might therefore seem that it would be common to see the turkeys roosting. Alas, they seem to arise earlier in the morning than I do, and I hadn’t seen one in a tree until this morning.

Seen first were many Wild Turkeys along the highway.

However, one holdout was seen still roosting in a tree.


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3 Responses to Turkey roost

  1. Christine Boyd says:

    A year ago, my neighbourhood in Blewett suddenly acquired 8 turkeys. We were delighted when the number was reduced to two only. However, it was puzzling how six disappeared. We see these two (and are glad they have each other) daily, foraging across our lawn. Nothing here, like a garden, to damage fortunately. They are endearing and certainly, a curiosity. Only hope their numbers don’t go up.

  2. Shirleen Smith says:

    Hi Alistair, great blog!
    There’s a regular turkey roosting tree across the road from where I live on the east shore. Around here they prefer big pines with open horizontal branches they can walk around on (versus fir and cedar). When they go to roost, they sound like garbage bags being hurled at the tree. Sloppy flyers. They roost surprisingly high. I’ve heard the only danger to them while roosting is bobcats which will occasionally climb the tree to get them, and they won’t fly down in the dark to get away. In the mornings they discuss their plans for quite awhile before coasting down to a nearby field, around 8:30. The tree near me is used mainly by the toms and sometimes they will get into gobbling and displaying to each other up in the tree and not even come down to feed for a day – regardless of whether or not it’s breeding season.

  3. birthe says:

    When I lived at 9 mile I would often see the chicks (is that the correct name, or could it be ‘turklings’?) fly up into the trees as I went by with my dog. It was very exciting to see them take off from the road and then sit high up in the trees. For about 2-3 years there was only 1 turkey hen, then she found a mate, population increased by another 4 and continued to increase, so that when I left 9 mile we had approximately 12 to 14 turkeys in the yard during the week. They do make a mess, but they are fun to look at. I have quite a number of photos of them on the ground, not in the trees.

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