New Hampshire Fish and Game collecting public reports of turkey families

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CONCORD, New Hampshire — Most people don't think about turkey until Thanksgiving, but the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is asking the public to keep an eye out for live birds this summer.

The department's annual turkey survey continues through Aug. 21, and biologist Ted Walski says observations made in August are especially important. That's because young who have survived into August are likely to become adults, so such sightings provide the best information about summer breeding productivity. New Hampshire hens generally begin laying eggs from mid-April to early May, hatching 28 days later. If eggs are destroyed or consumed by predators, hens often lay another clutch of eggs that hatch later in the summer.

Last summer, participants in the online survey counted 724 turkey broods across the state. Walski says weather conditions have generally been good this year for breeding, nesting and hatching.

"These reports from volunteer observers are a big help in determining how successful turkey nesting was for the year," Walski said.

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