Allison Keating: (603) 352-9669
Andy Timmins : (603) 271-2461
August 18, 2023
Concord, NH – As the summer comes to a close, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department encourages the public to report sightings of hen turkeys, with or without young, through the Department’s online summer turkey brood survey at www.wildnh.com/surveys/turkeybrood.html.
This year’s survey continues through August 31, providing data that will help New Hampshire Fish and Game Department biologists determine the distribution, abundance, and productivity of wild turkeys throughout the State. “The information that survey participants provide helps us monitor the turkey population,” said Andy Timmins, NH Fish and Game’s Wildlife Programs Supervisor. “This survey results in reports from all over the state and adds to the important information biologists use to monitor changes in turkey productivity, distribution, abundance, turkey brood survival, and the timing of nesting and hatching.”
“Observations made in August are especially important,” said Fish and Game Turkey Biologist Allison Keating. “Those young that have survived thus far are likely to become adults, so these sightings provide the best index of breeding productivity.”
According to Keating, brood reports are especially welcome this summer to help determine if weather hurt the production of young turkeys and how much re-nesting occurred. The conditions for turkey hatchings during the spring and summer of 2023 were not ideal, with extended periods of rain from May through July. “Some young turkeys will be quite large in August, almost the size of an adult hen, because of earlier hatching during the second half of May or early June. Smaller-sized poults in August are the result of a second nesting, when the first nest or brood was lost,” said Keating.
The term “brood” refers to a family group of young turkeys accompanied by a hen. New Hampshire hens generally begin laying eggs from mid-April to early May and complete their clutch of about 12 eggs in early to mid-May. Incubation lasts for 28 days, and most nests hatch from late May to mid-June. If incubating turkey eggs are destroyed or consumed by predators, hens often lay a replacement clutch of eggs that will then hatch from late June through August.
To learn more about the annual Turkey Brood Survey or to record your sightings, visit www.wildnh.com/surveys/turkeybrood.html.
Wild turkey management is partially funded through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program.