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Habitat Sampling and Selection by Female Wild Turkeys During Preincubation

We examined movements and habitat selection of hens prior to incubation, and found that hens had home ranges of about 750 acres.  Within home ranges, hens selected older pine stands, and they moved about 300 yards per hour.  We didn’t find correlations between range sizes and and number of days nests were successfully incubated, but we did find a positive correlation between movement rates and increased incubation.  Our findings suggested that movement rates within home ranges may better reflect a female’s habitat sampling effort, in other words, that hens may be moving to select optimal nest sites.  As an aside, we summarily dismissed this work with later research that can be found in the Bakner and Lohr articles available on this site.  Hens don’t visit the nest site until the day they lay their first egg, indicating they’re not sampling for nest sites prior to the onset of laying.

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