What is the sound of turkey?

Exploring Turkey Calls, Behaviors, and Fun Facts

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By Kenny G

Turkey sound

Everything you ever wanted to know about the turkey’s sound, the gobble: the turkey is a bird of great interest both to ornithology enthusiasts and breeders. Famous for its role in culinary traditions, especially during holidays like Thanksgiving in America, the turkey is also known for its distinctive sound, call.

But what is it called, why, and when does it happen? Let’s discover all the curiosities related to this fascinating bird, but first, let’s listen to it live in this video.

Turkey sound: Audio and Video

The turkey’s sound, commonly referred to as “gobbling” or “calling,” is a form of communication that serves multiple functions.

In wild turkeys, the male (known as the gobbler) emits a loud and guttural sound, also known as “gobbling,” especially during the mating season. This sound aims to attract females (hens) and establish dominance over other males.

Why does the turkey gobble?

There are several occasions, here are the main ones:

  • Courtship: Gobbling is more frequent and intense during the spring, when turkeys are in the mating season. The gobbler displays his colorful plumage and calls to seduce the hens.
  • Territorial Dominance: Males gobble to demarcate their territory and discourage rivals, communicating their presence and power.
  • Alarm: The call can also serve as an alarm signal in case of danger, to warn other group members.

When does the turkey sound?

Although turkeys are more vocal and “talkative” during the mating season, they can make sounds under various circumstances:

  • Throughout the day: they can gobble at any time of the day, although they are generally more active in the morning and evening.
  • In response to noise: sometimes they respond to loud noises, like thunder or the sound of an engine, with their call.
  • Social Interaction: they also communicate with each other to maintain group cohesion or to express discomfort.

Other curiosities about the Turkey

In addition to their unique way of communicating, turkeys have several interesting characteristics and behaviors:

  • Intelligence: contrary to what one might think, turkeys are animals with a certain social intelligence, capable of recognizing other group members and familiar humans.
  • Spatial Memory: turkeys have excellent spatial memory, which helps them remember the geography of their habitat.
  • Plumage: the male’s plumage changes color based on its emotional state and health, going from a pale blue to a bright red.
  • Longevity, how long do they live: in captivity, a turkey can live up to 10 years, while in the wild their life expectancy is generally shorter due to predators.
  • Diet: turkeys are omnivorous, and their diet includes a variety of plants, seeds, insects, and small reptiles.


The turkey’s sound is more than a simple sound; it is a complex means of communication that plays crucial roles in these birds’ lives. From mating to territory defense, each gobble has a well-defined purpose. Turkeys are amazing and complex creatures, whose behavior and biology deserve attention and respect. Knowing these aspects not only enriches our understanding of biodiversity but also contributes to a more conscious and sustainable approach in their breeding and conservation.

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