Turkey Head Color Meanings: A Guide For 2023

Turkey Head Color Meanings: A Guide For 2023
Turkey Talk and Thanking a Vegetarian this Thanksgiving Outdoor from blog.outdoorherbivore.com


Turkey hunting has been a popular pastime for many years, and it’s no secret that hunters pay attention to a turkey’s head color. The color of the turkey’s head can provide important information about the bird’s age, gender, and mood. In this article, we will explore the different meanings of turkey head colors.

The Basic Colors

The most common turkey head colors are red, white, and blue. These colors are present in both male and female turkeys. The red color is typically associated with a turkey’s mood. If a turkey’s head is bright red, it’s usually a sign that the bird is angry or agitated. White is a neutral color and doesn’t have any significant meaning. Blue is typically associated with a turkey’s age. Younger birds tend to have a bluish tint to their heads, while older birds’ heads are more gray.

The Male Turkey’s Head Colors

Male turkeys, also known as toms, have a wider range of head colors than females. In addition to the basic colors, toms can have white, pink, or purple heads. A white head is a sign that the tom is either very young or very old. Pink and purple are often seen during mating season when toms are trying to attract females.

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The Female Turkey’s Head Colors

Female turkeys, also known as hens, have a more limited range of head colors than males. They typically have red, blue, or gray heads. A red head on a hen is a sign that she’s in a bad mood and should be avoided. Blue and gray heads are usually a sign of age, with older hens having more gray on their heads.

Turkey Head Color and Hunting

Understanding the meanings of turkey head colors can be helpful for hunters. If a hunter sees a turkey with a bright red head, they know that the bird is agitated and might be difficult to hunt. On the other hand, a turkey with a white head might be easier to hunt because it’s either very young or very old.

Turkey Head Color and Conservation

Turkey head color can also be important for conservation efforts. By studying the color patterns of turkey heads, researchers can learn more about turkey behavior and habitat. This information can be used to develop conservation strategies to protect turkey populations.

Turkey Head Color and Culture

Turkey head color has also played a role in some cultures. For example, in Native American culture, the color of a turkey’s head was believed to be a sign of its spiritual power. Red was considered a powerful color, while blue was associated with wisdom.

Turkey Head Color and Superstition

In some cultures, turkey head color has been associated with superstition. For example, in some parts of the world, a turkey with a blue head is seen as a sign of bad luck. Similarly, a turkey with a red head might be seen as a warning of danger.

Turkey Head Color and Domestication

Domesticated turkeys have been bred to have different head colors than their wild counterparts. Some domesticated turkeys have white heads, while others have blue or pink heads. These colors are not necessarily indicative of the bird’s age or mood, as they have been artificially selected for by breeders.


In conclusion, turkey head color can provide important information about a turkey’s age, gender, and mood. Understanding these color patterns can be helpful for hunters, conservationists, and those interested in turkey culture and superstition. By studying turkey head colors, we can learn more about these fascinating birds and work to protect them for future generations.

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