Wild Turkey Use of Loblolly Pine Plantations for Nesting and Brood Rearing

Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) hens were monitored by telemetry from January 1987 through August 1988 in Kemper County, Mississippi. Thirty-nine of 52 hens reached incubation. Nesting success was 46% in 1987 and 36% in 1988. In 1987, all 12 located nests were in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations. Eleven hens nested in 17- to 19-year-old plantations; I hen nested in a 9-year-old plantation. In 1988,21 located nests were in plantations and I hen was in a mature pine-hardwood forest. Most hens (81 %) nested in plantations age 13-20 years old. Plantations used for nesting had been commercially thinned an average of 4 years (3-6 years) and had been control burned an average of 3 years (1-7 years) before being used. Hens with 1- to 14-dayold poults used mostly plantations (81 %) 14-20 years old in both 1987 and 1988. These plantations had been thinned and burned 3-4 years prior.

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