New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is encouraging New Yorkers to participate in a survey for wild turkeys and help state biologists better understand this iconic bird.
Since 1996, DEC has conducted the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey to estimate the number of wild turkey poults (young turkey born this year) per hen statewide. Weather, predation, and habitat conditions during the breeding and brood-rearing seasons can all significantly impact nest success, hen survival, and poult survival. This index helps DEC to gauge reproductive success and predict the number of turkeys killed during the hunting season.
During the month of August, survey participants record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys observed during normal travel.
Those interested in participating can download a Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey form along with instructions and the data sheet, here. Survey cards can also be obtained by contacting a regional DEC office, calling (518) 402-8883, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org (type “Turkey Survey” in the subject line).
Illustration: Wild turkey hen with poults, courtesy DEC.