If a visitor from another planet were to look at a picture of a wild turkey, they’d probably have one of those looks that makes them think, “Why did this creature even get on this Earth?” Their oversized bodies mounted on sticks for legs make them look like a walking coyote snack. Then add in their hideous snood and repulsive waddle and it’s no wonder that turkeys have a reputation for being ugly and difficult to hunt.
But when it comes to the real thing, the fact of the matter is that wild turkeys are some of the smartest and toughest hunters on the planet. Wild turkeys spend most of their time on the ground searching for food, but at night, they sleep high up in trees to protect themselves from predators.
Turkeys take advantage of the fact that things on the ground can’t easily reach them from above. This is why you’ll sometimes see a bunch of turkeys roosting together in groups in trees. They’re also able to avoid predators with their excellent sense of sight. Their stationary field of vision encompasses a full 300 degrees, but they can expand this to the full 360 degree range by moving their heads.
As soon as the sun rises, turkeys will descend from their perches to begin their day of food hunting on the ground. But before they do, they’ll often yelp to their flockmates to make sure everyone is alright.