How Fast Can a Turkey Run?

There are wild turkeys in all 88 counties of Ohio, making them one of the most identifiable birds in North America. Even though you’ve probably heard of the Wild Turkey before—especially this week—you might be shocked to hear these wild facts:

Turkeys are surprisingly fast creatures, both on land and in the air.

On land:

  • Wild turkeys can run up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h). This is faster than the average human can run, which is about 10 miles per hour.
  • Domesticated turkeys are slower than their wild counterparts, as they are bred to be heavier. They can still run at a respectable speed of 15-20 miles per hour.

In the air:

  • Wild turkeys can fly at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). This is as fast as a car on a highway.
  • However, they can only maintain this speed for short distances, typically around 400 meters.

Factors affecting a turkey’s speed:

  • Age: Younger turkeys are generally faster than older turkeys.
  • Weight: Lighter turkeys are faster than heavier turkeys.
  • Terrain: Turkeys can run faster on flat, open terrain than they can on rough, uneven terrain.
  • Motivation: Turkeys will run faster if they are being chased by a predator or trying to escape danger.

Interesting Facts about Turkeys

  • Turkeys are native to North America.
  • The wild turkey is the largest bird in North America.
  • Turkeys are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals.
  • Turkeys have excellent eyesight and hearing.
  • Turkeys are social animals and live in flocks.
  • Turkeys are important to many Native American cultures.
  • The turkey is the national bird of the United States.

Where to See Wild Turkeys

Wild turkeys can be found in forests, fields, and meadows throughout North America. They are most active during the day, and they can often be seen foraging for food or roosting in trees.

If you are interested in seeing wild turkeys there are a few things you can do to increase your chances:

  • Visit a national park or wildlife refuge.
  • Go for a hike in a wooded area.
  • Look for turkeys in fields and meadows.
  • Be patient and quiet, as turkeys are easily spooked.

Turkeys are fascinating creatures with a surprising ability to run and fly. They are an important part of the North American ecosystem, and they play a role in many Native American cultures. If you are ever lucky enough to see a wild turkey, take a moment to appreciate its speed and beauty.

How Fast Can A Turkey Run?


Can a wild turkey run 20 miles per hour?

The large feet and powerful legs enable turkeys to run unalarmed at 12 to 18 miles per hour, and when alarmed at up to 25 miles per hour. Wild turkeys can spring into the air quickly and flight has been clocked at up to 55 miles per hour.

Can wild turkeys fly 55 mph?

And, in fact, contrary to popular myth, turkeys can and do fly–they can fly up to 55 miles per hour for short distances! You will likely see them on the ground, though; they typically remain grounded unless spooked.

How fast can a turkey run on land?

And so that’s led to very large birds,” said Kristin Stover at the University of California, Irvine. Stover and her colleagues wanted to see how these large birds compared to their wild turkey counterparts. “So, I raised the wild and domestic turkeys myself.” Wild turkeys can run up to 20 miles per hour.

How fast do wild turkeys fly?

Wild turkeys can fly and have a top flight speed of about 55 miles per hour. Wild turkeys see in color and have excellent daytime vision, three times better than a human’s eyesight, with a visual field of more than 270 degrees.

Are turkeys faster than humans?

Turkeys aren’t a species you’re likely to run away from. In fact, you’re much more likely to be pursuing them. But while wild turkeys may take their time walking around and foraging for food, both their land and air speeds are faster than a human’s. The average jog speed for a human is four to six mph.

How long do turkeys live in the wild?

When they feel threatened, females tend to fly while males tend to run. At sundown, turkeys fly into the lower limbs of trees and move upward from limb to limb to a high roost spot. They often roost in flocks, but sometimes individually. Wild turkeys live about three to five years in the wild.

Do turkeys run when spooked?

Hunters and biologists note that a turkey is most likely to run when they are spooked. Being large with brightly-colored head plumage, the turkey has many natural predators like coyotes. The birds have strong hearing and remarkable vision to alert them to threats.

How big is a turkey compared to a male?

The female, significantly smaller than the male, weighs 5 to 12 pounds and is only 30 to 37 inches long. Despite their large size, wild turkeys can run at speeds up to 25 mph and fly up to 55 mph. The male has a featherless, red head and throat and a body covered in red, bronze, and gold iridescent feathers.

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