Wild hen suddenly appears alone after being part of group of three females

Asked April 20, 2018, 1:41 PM EDT

Hi. I live in upstate NY and have a large back yard that borders the woods. For many months, there has been a group of three female wild turkeys that come out of the woods to eat some of the bird seed that I put out. Initially, one of the turkeys was a youth but now all three are the same size. I am pretty sure they are all females because their faces are blue. They were always together but suddenly there seems to be one that is always by itself and the other two are still together. They never appear at the same time. I am wondering why one of them seems to suddenly be an outcast. Is this common? Is there a possible reason why one of them seems to be shunned? I feel so badly for the one that is now alone. Thank you for any information you can give me.

Schenectady County New York poultry poultry chickens turkeys poultry behavior turkeys

3 Responses

This bird may be an adolescent male who will try to find another group, or the bird was the lowest on the pecking order and was not part of the group. So, when the group moves on the bird will stick around. Feeding the birds may make them linger longer than they should if they are following natural feedstocks. Be sure to pull feed periodically so the birds will naturally migrate in the greater area of the woods with better food resources. Predator pressure may also be moving the flock, so this may be the last bird left as the flock has moved away from a predator.

Thanks, G.

Thank you very much for the information. The two turkeys that are still together are still in the area as well-both “groups” still come but now the single turkey comes at a different time whereas all three would appear together in the past. Thank you for the information about feeding and predators as well. If I’m allowed to ask one final question, it is this- if the lowest Turkey in the pecking order was pushed out and is not a male, can a female Turkey survive if she is not a part of a group. I know opposums go through life alone but is this too stressful or frightening for a Turkey? Based on the photo of your cat, I’d just make the comparison between cats , who are often solitary, to dogs, who have a pack mentality. Anyway, I won’t impose on you again. Thank you so much for your help.

Robin N.
Robin N.

The males will venture to make a new flock, but females seem to stay together as a group. If this is a solitary female, she may seek another flock to group up with. Pecking order is in play for these wild birds as well.

Thanks, G.