CONCORD — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is asking for the public's help in tracking wild turkey broods in New Hampshire this spring and summer.
People who observe groups of turkeys with young between May 15 and August 31 afre asked to report the sightings to Fish and Game at its web-based turkey brood survey at http://www.wildnh.com/turkeybroodsurvey.
"People enjoy participating, and by doing so, they are helping us monitor the turkey population," said Ted Walski, Fish and Game Turkey Project Leader. "We get reports from all over the state through this survey, adding to the important information biologists gather on turkey productivity, distribution, abundance, turkey brood survival and the timing of nesting and hatching."
Last year (2012), summer brood survey participants reported seeing some 1,119 turkey broods. Biologists are especially interested in getting more reports of turkey broods in the three northernmost New Hampshire counties (Coos, Carroll and Grafton).
The term "brood" refers to a family group of young turkeys accompanied by a hen. New Hampshire hens generally begin laying eggs sometime from mid-April to early May and complete their clutch of about 12 eggs in early to mid-May. Incubation lasts for 28 days, and most eggs hatch from late May to mid-June. If incubating turkey eggs are destroyed or consumed by predators, hens often lay a replacement clutch of eggs that hatch late June through late July. Reports of adult male turkeys are not being requested at this time.
Fish and Game also conducts a winter flock survey from January through March each year. Winter turkey watchers in New Hampshire this year sent in 1,787 flock reports, totaling 28,389 turkeys.