Can Wild Turkeys Fly? [Answer with Secret Explanation]

Have you ever seen a turkey fly? If yes, you must be thinking about whether it is the domestic or wild turkey.

If you are a hunter, beware before taking any shot and know the exact answer that can turkeys fly? Yes, they can fly.

It is a common misconception that wild turkeys can’t fly. This is because they feed on the ground. So people think that they can not go up in the skies. 

Can wild turkeys fly? Yes, wild turkeys are excellent flyers. With the help of broad wings, they can go 400meters far near the ground. In woodlands and hilly areas, they hover in perches down the mountains. However, they prefer running over flying. Still, they can fly but not very high especially at night.

Wild turkeys are relatively larger fowls with a slim neck, fantail, and long legs. This game bird was one of the most hunted species by the 1900s. The reason behind extreme hunting might be the delicious taste of turkey meat. Hunting wild turkey is not as easy as you think. Sometimes it becomes difficult to chase them as they can fly and run very fast.

Do turkeys fly?

Yes, of course, wild turkeys are fast fliers. They are adapted to fly well in woody areas. They would move in perches along the mountains and conifers in open forests. This gamebird has 5000 to 60000 dense feathers covering the whole body. In daylight, they love to explore skies and rest on trees at night. They attempt long flights in case of impending dangers and seasonal changes.

However, domestic turkeys can’t fly too far.flyWild turkey. Although they can jump up, they prefer running over flying. Here is an amazing video of turkey’s flight in slow motion.

Can domestic turkeys fly?

Domestic turkeys come under the category of flightless birds. They are not evolved to flight. Breeders raise them for meat production and feed them regularly. Unlike wild turkeys, they don’t have to thrive for food. For this, they evolve to live as flightless birds.

Another reason is that turkeys raised in poultry are too heavy to fly in the skies. Poultry feeder makes them grow fast. In this attempt, they gain weight and cant balance their bodies in flight. That is why they fall in the first attempt.

Fun facts about turkeys

Wild turkeys are popular gamebirds. They are mostly hunted for meat. Americans adore turkey meat plates in thanksgiving dinner. There are few fun facts about these birds. Let’s see

  • Turkeys can start running at the speed of 25mph to 55 mph 
  • Wild turkeys are widely associated with thanksgiving meal.
  • The meat of wild turkey takes time to get  tender as compared to domestic turkeys
  • Wild turkeys are bold and notorious creatures. They don’t fear human
  • Each turkey has individual vocal. If you live near a turkey dominated area, you can hear their high pitch sounds daily.

Can chicks fly?

Chicks of turkey are very sensitive. Newly hatched chicks are just like a lump of meat without any fur or feathers.

Chicks develop feathers fully around 3 to 8 weeks. Still, they can fly but will not go far. Domestic turkey chicks only run here and there for forage. They make attempts to go up in the air but not as much as wild turkeys. Wild turkey chicks adopt flight behavior because they have to fly for their safety as well as food.

Here is an excellent video of baby turkeys first step outside.

Do turkeys migrate?

Wild turkeys usually don’t migrate to long distant areas. They live in the same range throughout the year. However, they are nomadic birds that change their habitat seasonally for food search. In winters. wild turkeys are likely to stay around bird feeding areas. Being omnivores they remain hungry always. Farmers and garden owners treat them as unwanted guests. 

In winters, they shift towards plant feeders. In summer or spring, they rely on insects, worms, slugs, and snails. Domestic turkeys live under control conditions. They only migrate to a new home if poultry workers let them do so. Otherwise, they stay on the same farm throughout the year. But breeders keep on shifting them to different compartments.

can turkeys fly

How Fast Can wild turkeys fly?

Wild turkeys are intensely active and notorious creatures. In daylight, they are excellent flyers and can even attain a speed limit of 55 miles per hour. They have well developed broad wings that help them in super-fast flight. However, they can’t go beyond 16-meter height at night because of poor dark vision. An average wild turkey can fly up to 400m close to the ground. In case of danger, they plan long flights.

Hunting Wild turkey tips

If you are a fresh hunter, then hunting wild turkey can be challenging. There are several tips that can help you to bag some birds. Let’s see these tactics –

  • Get up early and trace the birds through the noise they usually make.
  • When you find some birds, make them to bed through turkey favorite feed.
  • Select the desired bird you want to catch, you may choose tom or hen.
  • Using owl hooters can be helpful in woodlands.
  • Be bold and take the shot early as wild turkeys can fly vigorously.
  • Best hunting time is afternoon and hunting season is spring.

The complete book of wild turkey hunting is a comprehensive guide to make you a successful hunter.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can turkeys fly?

Yes, wild turkeys can fly in woodlands and hilly areas. Usually, they make perches under the mountain tops. They have strong feathers to help them to stay in the air.

How high can turkeys fly?

Turkeys can fly at about 400meters close to the ground in daylight. They can’t see well in the dark so they can fly just 16 meters height in darkness.

How Far Can wild turkeys fly?

Wild turkeys can fly up to 400 meters close to the ground. They can attain 55mph speed during long flights.

Which turkeys can fly?

Wild turkeys can fly well above the ground. Domestic turkey prefers running overflight.

Will Wild turkeys attack?

Yes, wild turkeys can attack other turkeys to show dominance. Mostly elder males show aggressive behavior in fall.

Can tame turkeys fly?

If tame turkeys are domestic, they will not fly. Only wild tame turkeys fly. In the poultry environment, wild turkeys will prefer running to flight.


Hunters are confused about can wild turkeys fly or not. This article explains turkeys’ flight with the speed limit and height they can reach. Keep one thing in mind, you can catch them only if they are not very far from the ground. Shooting them in the skies can result in an unsuccessful hunt. So, it is always recommended to know your animal well before the hunt. I hope that these suggestions will help you to get wild turkey roost on your dining table of the thanksgiving meal.

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2 thoughts on “Can Wild Turkeys Fly? [Answer with Secret Explanation]”

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