Turkeys and Noise


Just to let you know, this week’s post is not very serious.

The other day I went outside and heard an incredible ruckus – dozens of birds were calling out in the three maple trees just outside our house. I was really surprised at how loud they were. And today, since it is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, I thought I would learn about another type of bird – turkeys, and find out how loud (or not) they are.

I assumed that one lone turkey is not very loud. ( I was wrong.)  But usually they come in bunches – flocks I suppose? (In fact a group of turkeys is often called a ‘rafter’!) And so I figured together they might be quite loud. (And I was right.) And I assumed that the males (toms) are louder than the females. I think I am right on this one. (BTW – apparently in the UK male turkeys are known as ‘stags’. Who knew? Here in North America –  males are toms or gobblers; females are hens.)

So how loud are they?  Some people on the Net have written that the males are quite loud; and some people noted that they sometimes have a sort of drum-like sound. I went looking for videos and here is some of what I found: (NOTE: Each turkey picture below is ‘hot’.)


This person has a video of various different calls and sounds made by turkeys. Quite the range!

Turkeys also seem to be quite responsive to sound stimuli – see here.

And of course, we often get kids to do silly/foolish things regarding turkeys and Thanksgiving – see here.  


Those who hunt often hunt turkeys, especially around Thanksgiving time.

So if we think about noise and sound – we have shotgun noise, turkey sounds AND people who make turkey calls in order to lure turkeys into range.


Preston Pittman

Here is a Letterman clip of Preston Pittman, a man from southern Mississippi, who is a world class turkey caller. Damn he’s good!  But take note of his warning about calling in public places!

And if you want a constant reminder of gobbling, you can get an annoying turkey gobble ringtone for your cellphone.

And last but not least –  these turkeys are ‘noise curmudgeons’ in their own right! Birds after my own heart!!

SO there you are – turkeys and noise.  Have a good Thanksgiving weekend if you are in Canada!                      

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