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How Fast Can a Spooked Turkey Run?

Almost everyone loves and enjoys delicious turkey meat on thanksgiving. But do you have any idea how fast can a spooked turkey run?

A Spooked Turkey can run at the speed of 20 miles per hour. That equals 32.19 kilometers per hour. Though it is not among the fastest animals in the world, its speed still amazes hunters.

Turkey comes from North America, Mexico, and also Guatemala. If you are reading this then you might probably be interested in learning the behavior of a spooked turkey.

Don’t worry because this article will not only tell you how fast can a spooked turkey run but will also tell you about its behavior and other interesting facts.

So without any further ado, let’s get into it!

How Fast Can a Spooked Turkey Run?

How Fast Can a Spooked Turkey Run_

As mentioned earlier, a spooked turkey can run at the speed of 20 miles per hour (32.19 kilometers per hour). It can run even faster than this if it is in danger. Now the question is what makes these land-based birds run so fast?

We all know turkeys are usually fat and heavy and they shouldn’t be able to run as fast as they currently can. Well, the main reason behind this speed of turkeys is that they have powerful legs. It helps them in gaining acceleration and running fast.

However, 20 miles an hour is the average speed recorded for a domestic turkey. Having that said, wild turkeys are very different from domestic ones. Due to their well-conditioned body structure, they can even reach speeds of 25 miles an hour.

How Fast Can a Spooked Turkey Fly?

They don’t prefer flying because it is difficult to take flight that fast and once they are in the air, they are very vulnerable to being hunted down.

So due to this reason, turkeys prefer staying on the ground and running away when they are spooked.

However, it doesn’t mean that they can’t fly. Wild turkeys can usually fly at the speed of 55 miles an hour.

Do Turkeys Roost in Trees?

Before we answer this question, let’s first look at the difference between wild and domestic turkeys.

Domestic turkeys are a product of artificial selection and they are only bred for food. On the other hand, wild turkey is a normal species living naturally in their habitat.

When it comes to roost, both of these turkey types have their own behavior. Domestic turkeys roost in trees for safety from predators.

On the other hand, wild turkey prefers to roost on the ground because it is safe for them and they can easily escape danger when needed.

Is There Any Difference Between the Running Speed of a Male and Female Turkey?

turkeys on alert mode

The answer to this question is a yes. Males are usually faster than females because they have well-developed leg muscles and their bodies are leaner.

On the other hand, female turkeys have a slower speed as compared to males due to their higher body weight and less developed leg muscles.

However, the average speed of both genders is 20 miles per hour.

Speed of a Spooked Turkey VS Other Birds

As you know a wild turkey can run up to 25 miles per hour sometimes. Usually, it can go up to 20 miles an hour.

However, there are some other birds that can go faster than this. For instance, a blue heron can fly at 40 miles per hour while the Canada goose flies at 45 miles per hour.

Things that Spook a Wild Turkey

Now that you’ve learned about the running speed of a spooked wild turkey, let’s talk about a few other things. You might be thinking what are the things that can spook a turkey right?

There are many things in the wild that can scare not only a turkey but other wild birds as well. One of the main issues is the risk of life. As you know there are many predators that hunt birds and animals to get their food.

Some of the animals which wild turkeys are usually scared of include hawks, raccoons, foxes, opossums, coyotes, dogs, and many other animals.

However, there are things that can spook a turkey as well. These things include the following:

Loud Noises

If you’re out hunting then you know how important it is to avoid loud noises especially if you want to catch the wild turkey by surprise.

However, there are many hunters who don’t know this but loud noises can scare the wild turkeys away.

Therefore, you must always avoid loud noises especially if you’re hunting in an area where there are other animals as well. If possible try to hunt them during the early hours of dawn because that’s when they are most likely to come out.


One of the mistakes that many hunters make is they allow their pets to accompany them when they’re hunting for wild turkeys.

However, you need to know that dogs can scare away the wild turkeys no matter how well-behaved your pet is. And it doesn’t even have to be your pet, even other hunters who are accompanied by their dogs can scare the turkey away so you have to be very careful.


When you’re hunting for wild turkeys during the dawn hours or even before the sun comes out it’s best that you avoid using bright lights. You should use a red lens flashlight because if you use a flashlight that has a white light the wild turkey will be able to see it in great detail.

Scent Eliminator

If you and your hunting partners are using things like deodorants and perfumes make sure that they don’t use too much on their body, on the clothes, and on the materials used for camouflage. If you do use them then you should put them on your clothes that are furthest away from the turkey’s sense of smell.

Talking and Candling

Hunters should never talk to their partners when they’re hunting for wild birds because it will just draw more attention towards you and they can even hear you as well.

It is also best that hunters do not use flashlights when in the woods and in areas where there is no light source because it will just make them more noticeable to the turkey.

When you’re in a good area that has turkeys then silent movements and hand signals should be used to transfer information between hunters/hunters and themselves. This makes less noise and it will make you less likely to spook a turkey.

A wild spooked turkey running

Last Minute Thoughts

So How Fast Can a Spooked Turkey Run? well, as mentioned it depends upon the weight of the bird and how scared it is. If a turkey feels that there is danger then it will sprint off as fast as possible because they want to live another day.

These birds can reach speeds up to 20 miles per hour but most of the time it’s around 25-30 mph depending on how scared the turkey gets.

If you know more data on this topic please leave a comment. As usual, thank you so much for reading

Happy birdwatching!

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