What Sound Does A Turkey Make?

Somewhere in the woods, a wild turkey can be heard, sending its cry out into the woods like a call to freedom. Its sound is as distinctive as a fingerprint – no two are exactly alike.

This article will explore what sound a turkey makes and how it plays an important role in their lives.

Wild turkeys are popularly known for their ‘gobble,’ but this sound is only made by male turkeys during mating season.

Female turkeys don’t make the same sound and instead, communicate with a series of clucking noises and short yelps.

Both male and female turkeys are also capable of making purring and cackling noises, which they use to alert other turkeys to predators or dangers in the area.

Additionally, young chicks make a high-pitched peep that is used to signal to their mother when they’re hungry or need help finding food or shelter.

Common Turkey Sounds

Turkeys are vocal creatures, not only capable of gobbling but clucking and crowing too!

The gobbling sound is a deep, throaty call that they use to communicate with other turkeys.

Clucking is the sound they make when they’re content and contented.

Crowing, on the other hand, is the sound they make when they’re feeling bold and confident.

All of these sounds are essential for a turkey’s communication and have been studied extensively by scientists.

It’s fascinating to observe the way that turkeys use their sounds to establish dominance, form bonds, and express their feelings.

All in all, it’s clear that the common turkey sounds are more than just noise – they’re language!


When you hear the sound of a wild turkey, your first thought is probably of a gobble. But did you know that this is just one of many sounds turkeys make? From yelps to kee-kees, there’s a variety of turkey calls and sounds used by both wild turkeys and domesticated gobblers.

Let’s take a look at the fascinating world of turkey sounds! Gobbling is the most common sound made by wild turkeys. It’s used to attract mates, mark territory and alert other turkeys to their presence. During mating season, male turkeys can be heard ‘gobbling’ from up to half a mile away in some cases!

Gobbling can also be used as a communication tool between turkey hunters and their targets. By using certain types of calls, hunters are able to mimic the sound of other turkeys in order to lure them closer. Turkey hunters also use various types of specialized turkey calls, such as box calls, diaphragm calls, or mouth calls to imitate various turkey sounds such as yelps, kee-kees, or clucks.

These specialized calls can help bring in wary birds or spook them out of hiding spots making it easier for hunters to locate them. So although most people associate turkeys with gobbling, they’re actually capable of producing an impressive range of vocalizations!


In addition to the more widely-known gobble, turkeys are also capable of producing a variety of other sounds.

Clucking is one of these vocalizations and is used mostly by hens to communicate with each other and their young. Soft clucks are usually used when a hen is purring – a low, rumbling sound made during courtship or when she’s content. When her chicks are nearby, she’ll often use louder and higher-pitched clucks to get their attention.

Turkeys also use various combinations of clucks, purrs, putts, cackles, and kee-kees when they’re looking for roosting spots or food sources. These calls can help them stay in contact with other birds while they search for food or shelter.

The most common type of cluck is the plain cluck which is used by both males and females as a warning signal or alarm call.

When it comes to turkey calls, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each turkey species has its own unique set of sounds, and understanding them can be key to successful hunting trips or bird-watching excursions!

With practice, you’ll quickly learn the different vocalizations these amazing birds make – from soft purring to loud clucking – making your outdoor experience even more enjoyable!


Crows are another common sound that male turkeys make. During mating season, they will often let out a loud crow to attract female turkeys and other males in the area. Young turkeys also use crowing as a way to communicate with their flock and announce their presence.

When it comes to turkey hunting, understanding the different vocalizations of crowing can be key to locating a bird. A hunter might hear a loud crow coming from one direction and then use the cutts or fly-down cackle to locate the bird in a nearby tree.

Another type of call is the kee-kee run, which is used by young turkeys when they become separated from their flock. It’s usually a series of yelps that get progressively louder until the birds reunite. This call can be useful for hunters, too, as it can help them locate young birds in tall grass or dense foliage.

Finally, there’s the tree call which is used by mature turkeys when they’ve found an ideal roosting spot. It’s usually a series of yelps that start low and increase in volume until they reach a peak before slowly fading away into silence – letting other birds know exactly where to find them!

With practice, you can quickly learn these unique vocalizations and make your turkey hunting trips even more successful!

What Do These Sounds Tell Us About Turkey Behavior?

Turkey vocalizations are fascinating to observe, as they can tell us a great deal about how turkeys behave in different situations. From poults to adults, turkeys use their vocalizations for a variety of purposes.

Box calls, single notes, and plain yelps are used during courtship displays when a male turkey (also known as a tom) is strutting and displaying his feathers in order to attract hens.

An assembly call is used by flocks of turkeys when they feel threatened or sense danger, allowing them to quickly come together for safety.

Lastly, locator calls are used by lost poults to locate their mother or other members of the flock.

These vocalizations provide us with valuable insight into turkey behavior, such as communication between members of the flock and how they respond to various situations. Understanding these distinct sounds helps us better appreciate the complex social behavior that exists in turkey populations.

By studying these vocalizations, we can gain an appreciation of how these birds interact with each other and adapt to their environment. With this knowledge, we can more effectively manage turkey populations and conserve habitats for them to thrive.

As fear plays an important role in regulating animal behavior, it’s important that we examine how turkeys express fear through sound so that we can gain a better understanding of their response mechanisms when faced with potential threats. As we move forward, it is important that we continue our research into the sounds of turkeys and what they tell us about their behavior.

Sounds Of Fear

The sound of a turkey’s call is unmistakable, and the volume can only be described as deafening! Female turkeys make a series of loud yelps that are often described as a staccato sound effect. The basic turkey sound is usually referred to as the ‘gobble’ made by the male jakes. Although both genders use various sounds to communicate, there are some distinct differences between the calls of males and females.

For example, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) notes that female turkeys make a “putt-putt” sound when alarmed or excited. This call can be broken down into two parts—a series of sharp yelps followed by a softer clucking noise.

Male turkeys, on the other hand, will typically respond to disturbances with a deep “gobble-gobble” sound that has been compared to thunder. Different sounds can also indicate different behaviors in both sexes.

For instance, when jakes sense danger, they may respond with a rapid series of short gobbles known as “kee-kee-runs” or an extended single note called a “tree yelp”. Female turkeys exhibit similar behavior but with more of an emphasis on clucking rather than gobbling. They may also produce high-pitched yelps in response to predators or other threats.

By recognizing these distinct vocalizations, it is possible to better understand the behavior and communication patterns of wild turkeys.

Distinctive Male And Female Calls

Male turkeys are known for their iconic gobbling sound, a loud, repetitive noise that can be heard from up to a mile away. Female turkeys, on the other hand, cluck and cackle, making a more subdued sound than the males.

The males use their gobbling to attract the attention of female turkeys and to ward off competing males. The females then respond to the males by clucking or cackling, letting the males know that they are interested.

Gobbling is a territorial call and an indicator of a turkey’s age and size, while the clucking and cackling of females is a sign of their receptiveness to mating. The sound of the wild turkey is unmistakable and a true delight to listen to!


One of the most distinctive sounds of the wild turkey is the ‘gobble’ call, made exclusively by male turkeys.

The good call of a tom turkey can be heard up to a mile away, and is an unmistakable sound that beckons hunters and nature lovers alike to the woods.

The National Wild Turkey Federation estimates that there are almost 7 million wild turkeys roaming public lands in the United States, including several thousand species in North America alone.

As such, hearing a tom’s gobbling on a crisp spring morning could easily bring about feelings of contentment for even beginner turkey hunters out on their first hunt.

An experienced hunter will recognize that what he/she has heard is not simply a noise but instead an entire conversation between male and female turkeys as they communicate with each other from miles apart in the Turkey Woods.


In addition to the gobble, there is another sound that male and female wild turkeys make when communicating – the cluck.

Clucking is a series of short, loud vocalizations produced by adult birds that are typically used in close proximity to one another. It’s a sound hunters may recognize while out deer hunting in the woods, as it can carry for hundreds of yards in an open field.

The cluck is often heard during the peak of mating season when adult birds call to each other from nearby trees. It not only serves as a way for them to communicate but also as a way for them to protect their territories from intruders.

With its distinctive sound, the cluck can be an exciting moment for hunters and nature lovers alike as they experience the beauty of wildlife up close. Many people find themselves captivated by this fascinating yet subtle call of the wild turkey – a call that beckons us to explore our natural environment and truly appreciates all it has to offer.


The cackling sound of wild turkeys is another distinct call of the male and female birds. It’s a throaty, raspy sound that usually follows after a cluck, and is often heard during mating season when adult birds are trying to attract mates. The cackle can travel for hundreds of yards in an open field and is a sure sign that you’re near some wild turkeys.

It’s always exciting to hear this sound while out in nature as it serves as a reminder of the beauty and freedom found in the outdoors. Plus, it’s fun to imagine what these majestic creatures might be saying with their unique calls!

Wild turkeys also use other vocalizations to communicate with each other such as purrs, yelps, putts, and kee-kees. These sounds could indicate anything from alarm calls to courtship displays or even territorial defense. Whatever their purpose may be, these sounds help wild turkeys express themselves to one another while still keeping a safe distance between them.

Listening closely to their calls can be an incredible experience, giving us insight into the lives of these fascinating creatures.

No matter where you are or what time it is, hearing the distinctive calls of wild turkeys can bring joy and wonder into any environment. So next time you find yourself out in nature, take some time to listen closely and appreciate all that the natural world has to offer. Who knows? You just might get lucky enough to hear some wild turkey cackles echoing through the trees!

Daytime And Nighttime Noises

Turkey noises are fascinating and complex. During the day, turkeys often make a variety of loud calls that can be heard from far away. These include gobbles, clucks, yelps, and purrs.

Here are some examples of daytime turkey noises that evoke emotion in the audience:

  • The loud and proud gobble of a male turkey is something to behold.
  •  The gentle clucking of a mother turkey with her chicks is endearing and comforting.
  •  The excited yelp of a young turkey discovering its world is inspiring.

At night, turkeys tend to be much quieter as they roost in their trees or on the ground to sleep. They may occasionally make soft purrs or quiet hoots throughout the night.

As morning approaches, though, they become more active and start making louder noises again. With these subtle nighttime calls, turkeys demonstrate their adaptability and strong communication skills.

Moving on from daytime and nighttime sounds, turkeys also have an impressive ability to mimic other sounds too…

Mimicking Other Sounds

Turkeys are unique among birds in that they mimic sounds from their environment. This includes other birds, animals, and even humans. The sound turkeys make is almost like a low-pitched “gobble” or “gabble”. It can vary depending on the turkey’s mood, but it is usually a loud, single-syllable noise.

Though they can imitate many different sounds, turkeys tend to mimic predators most often. They may also copy noises made by other birds and animals in order to communicate with them. In some cases, turkeys have been known to mimic human voices too!

Turkeys are capable of making over 30 distinct vocalizations for various purposes such as mating calls, warning signals, and territorial disputes. While these vocalizations may sound similar to us humans, each one has a specific purpose for the turkey to ensure successful communication with its peers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Do Turkeys Make Sounds?

Turkeys are surprisingly vocal creatures, with a range of calls that can be heard throughout the year.

They are most likely to vocalize during the spring and summer months when they need to attract mates or ward off potential predators.

During these periods, turkeys will make loud cackling and gobbling sounds which can be heard up to a mile away.

They also use softer clucks and purring noises for communication within their flock.

Turkeys also make more subtle sound cues such as clicking noises with their beaks which indicate interest or alarm.

Do Turkeys Make Different Sounds In Different Situations?

Surprisingly, turkeys do make different sounds in different situations. Research shows that about 70% of the time, a turkey’s vocalizations are context-specific, meaning they change depending on the environment.

In addition to their classic ‘gobble,’ turkeys can also produce low-frequency purrs, yelps, and cackles. Interestingly, these calls are particularly important for communicating with other members of their flock; they use subtle variations in sound to indicate where food and water sources are located or to signal danger.

So the next time you hear a turkey’s call in the wild, you may be able to learn more than just its location!

How Does The Sound Of A Turkey Vary By Age?

Turkeys make a wide variety of sounds, and the sound they make can vary based on their age.

Young turkeys, known as ‘poults,’ tend to make high-pitched chirps or clicks that are similar to those of baby chickens.

As they grow older and reach maturity, their calls become louder and more complex.

Mature male turkeys are renowned for the distinctive gobbling sound they produce by inflating their necks and drawing air in through their nostrils.

This is usually done during courtship rituals or territorial disputes, but it can also occur when a turkey is startled or alarmed.

Are There Regional Variations Of Turkey Sounds?

Yes, there are regional variations of turkey sounds! Turkeys are known to be quite vocal, making a variety of different noises depending on their age and environment.

In some areas, they may sound more shrill and high-pitched, while in others they may sound deeper and more guttural.

Interestingly, turkeys can also adapt their calls to the local environment. For example, if there is already another turkey vocalizing in the area, a new bird will often adjust its call accordingly – becoming louder or softer in order to make itself heard.

What Is The Loudest Sound A Turkey Can Make?

Have you ever wondered what the loudest sound a turkey can make is?

Well, it turns out that turkeys are capable of emitting quite a loud call. In fact, some wild turkeys have been known to make calls as loud as 90 decibels!

This is akin to a lawnmower running nearby or someone shouting in your ear. Of course, the intensity and duration of this sound vary from bird to bird, but if you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing a turkey’s call, there’s no doubt that it can be deafeningly loud!


In conclusion, turkeys are capable of making a variety of different sounds depending on the situation. From loud gobbles to soft clucks, they have a wide range of vocalizations they can use to communicate with one another.

The sound made by a turkey varies depending on its age, as well as the region in which it lives. The loudest sound a turkey can make is the gobble, which can be heard from quite some distance.

It’s amazing how much these birds are able to express with just their voices! With the proper care and respect for their natural behavior, turkeys will surely continue to be an integral part of our lives for many years to come.


About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

Leave a Comment

Master of the Outdoors

© 2024 master of the outdoors