The Eastern Wild Turkey, as the name implies, is located in the eastern half of the United States. The southern range for this populous turkey is from northern Florida west to eastern Texas and the northern range is from New England and southern Canada west to Minnesota. The Eastern Wild Turkey has also been introduced into western states such as northern California, Oregon, Washington and also into Ontario. This turkey lives in the most diverse of environments and habitat; from the south-east hardwood forests and pastures, to the northern woods. The “Eastern” has the widest range of all the 5 subspecies of turkeys in North America.
The “Eastern” has a variety of foods in their diet ranging from grapes and blackberries, beechnut and acorns, and grain like corn and oats. They also enjoy eating insects such as grasshoppers and beetles. Since the range of the Eastern in so large and spans many climates within North America – they are considered the most versatile of all the subspecies.
Eastern Wild Turkeys lay their eggs from late-March to early-April, typically laying an average of 8 – 12 eggs. This process can take some time, as turkeys usually only lay one egg a day. During the incubation period of 26 - 28 days, the hen will move the eggs periodically throughout the day. Once the incubation period has passed, the eggs may hatch within a 24-hour period of one another. The hen and her newly hatched turkeys (also called poults) will leave the nest within a day in search of food.