Turkey meat is a popular part of the American diet, and it’s not uncommon to see wild turkeys in our country’s forests. However, many people don’t know that wild turkeys sleep in trees—specifically roost in them at night.
When the sun sets, wild turkeys will fly up into trees to “roost.” They roost in the tree at night because they have poor night vision and want to be safe from predators that prey on them during the night.
During the day, turkeys are able to roam the forest floor looking for food. They spend time foraging on mosses, buds, seeds, and fern spores in the ground and are also known to eat man-made food supplies such as grains in bird feeders or seeds under a manure pile.
However, as the season changes and the food supply becomes scarce, turkeys will roost in trees at night. They choose to roost in the trees because they can be more easily hidden from predators and are protected from rain and snow.
Wild turkeys are picky about the type of tree they sleep in because they are not great fliers. They typically roost in mature trees with limbs that are straight enough and large enough to support their weight. They also prefer to roost in areas that are close to water, such as river, creek, or stream riparian zones. This way they can easily drink water late in the evening and first thing in the morning. In agricultural lands they will often roost in trees that are on field edges. This gives them a high-vantage point to watch for danger and allows them to call out loud in the morning before they fly down to begin their hunting.