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Wild Turkey Nest Predation

It’s fairly obvious that the eggs and young of ground nesting birds are extremely vulnerable. Eggs survive long enough to hatch in only about half of all wild turkey nests.  Predators, typically opportunistic feeders, look for the easiest and most accessible meals available.  Because of this, ground nesting birds, such as the wild turkey, often have a larger clutch of eggs than tree-nesting birds  Raccoons, opossums, skunks, crows and ravens will readily raid a turkey nest.  A nearby field was mowed yesterday, and much to the owner’s dismay, a turkey nest containing eggs was left exposed –  but the 11 eggs were intact.  The mother returned to the now-exposed nest, but upon visiting the nest this morning, a mere 12 hours later, I discovered the nest empty except for one egg which had been emptied of its contents. 

2 responses

  1. Nature can be so cruel. That poor mother turkey. She will no doubt try again soon but what a bummer for her. I love watching mother turkeys with a whole brood following her in early summer. There are certainly plenty of eggs that are hatching luckily.

    June 23, 2011 at 10:52 am

  2. dexter lefavour

    We found a hen on a nest on Sat 6//18, our visit with a camera spooked the hen and we saw 12 eggs.

    The next day 6/19I saw a hen at the hog grain feeder and I found the nest without the hen and there were 14 eggs.

    On Monday 6/20 the hen was sitting and didnt disturb her.

    our fingers are crossed, i’ll post the pic to my facebook

    June 23, 2011 at 11:15 am

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