For many people, the sound of a turkey call is synonymous with the arrival of Thanksgiving, but these unique sounds are actually made by turkeys all year round. Turkey calls are a type of vocalization that turkeys use to communicate with each other, and there are several different types of calls that they can make.
The cluck is perhaps the most common turkey call, and it is used by both males and females. It is a short, staccato sound that is made by pressing air out of the lungs and into the syrinx, which is a specialized voice box that turkeys have. The cluck is often used to indicate contentment or to call to other birds.
The yelp is another common turkey call, and it is often used by females to locate other birds or to call their young. It is a longer, more drawn-out sound than the cluck, and it can be made with different levels of intensity to convey different emotions. Males also use the yelp, but they tend to make it in a lower pitch than females.
The purr is a soft, rolling sound that turkeys make when they are relaxed or content. It is often used by females to reassure their young, but males can also make the sound when they are courting a female. The purr is made by vibrating the muscles in the syrinx, and it can be difficult to hear from a distance.
The gobble is perhaps the most well-known turkey call, and it is almost exclusively made by males during the breeding season. It is a loud, booming sound that can carry for miles, and it is used to attract females and intimidate rival males. The gobble is made by pushing air through the syrinx, and it can be heard from several miles away on a clear day.
The kee-kee is a high-pitched, whistling call that is made by young turkeys, and it is often used to locate other birds or to signal distress. Females can also make the kee-kee sound, and it is sometimes used in conjunction with the yelp to locate other birds. The kee-kee is a difficult sound to mimic, and many hunters use recordings of the call to attract birds.
The cutting is a series of fast, sharp yelps that are often used by turkeys when they are excited or agitated. The sound is made by rapidly vibrating the muscles in the syrinx, and it can be a difficult sound for hunters to replicate. The cutting is often used by males during the breeding season to challenge rival males.
Turkey calls are a fascinating aspect of turkey behavior, and they can be an important tool for hunters and researchers alike. By understanding the different types of calls that turkeys make, we can gain a better understanding of their behavior and their social structure. Whether you’re a hunter looking to attract birds or simply a nature enthusiast, taking the time to listen to turkey calls can be a rewarding experience.