What Sounds Does a Female Turkey Make?

Don DeBold/CC-BY-2.0

A female turkey, or hen, makes a number of sounds, including a yelp, cackle, cutting, putt and purr. These sounds are used for specific purposes.

The yelp is a series of single-note vocalizations that hens use under various circumstances, one of which is to reassemble a flock that has become scattered. The cackle is a series of three to 10 irregularly spaced notes, and it is associated with movement, such as flying.

A series of fast, loud and erratic single notes known as “cutting” is audible over a great distance and is used by a hen seeking a companion. A putt is usually just one note, but it can be a few sharp, quickly repeated notes that are used as an alarm. Purring, a soft rolling sound, is a sign of contentment and is often heard when turkeys are feeding.