DO TURKEYS MATE FOR LIFE?? DO THEY LIVE BY THEMSELVES OR IN GROUPS?
Wild turkeys do not mate for life. They do not even maintain a pair bond for one season. Breeding is promiscuous and the “gobblers” (adult males) will breed with as many hens as possible during the mating period. Courtship activity begins when birds are concentrated in large flocks in the wintering areas, perhaps as early as late February. These flocks are organized in a dominance hierarchy or “pecking order”. The highest ranking bird dominates all others, and so on down the line. Generally, adults are dominant over juveniles. So-called “jakes”, or immature male turkeys, are physiologically capable of breeding, but may be intimidated from doing so by adults. Turkeys do not defend territories, or particular pieces of habitat. They fight among each other for status and dominance. Rio Grande turkeys may use “leks” or specific strutting grounds. The male’s primary courtship behaviors are the “gobble” and the “strut”. Gobbling serves to attract hens, but may also attract other males. Perhap