John's Journal...

The Latest Turkey Research

The Role that Habitat and Predators Play in Turkey-Nesting Success

Click to enlargeClick to enlargeEditor’s Note: What have scientists learned about turkeys and turkey habitat that can help us understand turkeys better, learn how to provide better habitat for them and find out why and when they gobble? State conservation agencies across the United States currently have conducted research projects in these areas with the help of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the federal government and other conservation organizations. To learn the latest information, we’ve talked with Tom Hughes, senior wildlife biologist for the NWTF (

The University of Tennessee has conducted a research project to determine what effect wildlife practices like thinning and burning have on neo-tropical migrant songbird species. The information gathered will determine if thinning and burning for turkeys detrimentally impacts the songbirds’ habitat, especially the songbirds that seem to do best in forest cover.

“We’d like to actively manage national forestlands for wild turkeys and make the habitat more diverse with numbers of early successional plant mixes,” Hughes emphasizes. “The UnClick to enlargeiversity of Tennessee created a number of thinning and burning plots, recorded the number of turkey nests they found in these Click to enlargeactive study areas and monitored the activity of the neo-tropical songbird species there to learn what effect this type of management would have on them. The overall effect of active turkey management was very positive on many of the songbird species, and some of the songbirds actually thrived on the edges of these newly-created openings. We learned from this study that managing wild lands for turkeys wasn’t only beneficial to the wild turkey, but also to songbird species that never had been thought to thrive in this type of habitat.”

Tomorrow: The American Chestnut

Check back each day this week for more about "The Latest Turkey Research"

Day 1: The Importance of Turkey Bands
Day 2: Texas Turkeys, and Turkeys and Grape Vines
Day 3: Gobbler Kidnappers
Day 4: The Role that Habitat and Predators Play in Turkey-Nesting Success
Day 5: The American Chestnut



Entry 395, Day 4