"Alarm Chirps" - Hen Talk [Video]

June 23, 2015

 

 

The vocabulary of wild turkeys is vast to say the least and just when you think you've heard it all, they'll surprise you with something new.

 

This past spring, while observing a juvenile hen during a hunt in northeast Wisconsin, I was treated to a sound that I'd only heard once before. A few years ago, several hens fed by my hunting position and the trailing hen lifted her head and briefly made a few chirps then resumed feeding by me. I had no idea what it meant back then but this time was different. Not only did I capture video of the hen performing this vocalization but knew exactly why she was doing it.

 

While set up on a field edge about 300-400 yards away from a elderly man's house, the young hen approached and began to feed. After a few minutes, the elderly man exited his house to get into his car. While I needed binoculars to identify that the movement was that of the elderly man, the young hen knew exactly what it was and began excitedly "chirping", for lack of a better term.

 

Clearly her calls were an alarm call of sorts, based on her body language, and something to keep in mind for future reference. I don't know if there is a proper term for what I captured in the following video so I'll call it "Alarm Chirps" for now.

 

 

 

Have you ever heard this vocalization from a turkey? Do you agree that it is an alarm call? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CallingAllTurkeys

 

 

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