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Some helpful tips for dealing with turkeys

We’re sure you’ve seen turkeys roaming the neighborhood streets lately. Sometimes it’s a turkey is alone. Other times it’s a rafter aka group of turkeys.  (Impress your friends with that vocab word.) You’ve sent us your videos of turkeys sleeping on top of cars or strutting down busy thoroughfares. Well, it’s breeding season, so it’s not uncommon to see them.  It also means you should take some precautions.

Turkey Precautions

According to the Boston Globe, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife released some helpful tips if you come face-to-face with these – sometimes mean and aggressive – birds. No one wants a beef with a turkey, right?

Because it’s breeding season, wild turkeys are out and about all across the state – including the city.

Turkeys can act aggressively by pecking, following, or exhibiting other intimidating behavior towards people. More often than not, it’s the male (eye roll) that attempt to attach or dominate by puffing out their feathers or gobbling loudly.

What to do if you come face-to-face with a pissed off turkey

If you are being threatened by a turkey, it’s advised that you use a broom or a hose to scare them off. We’re thinking that might provoke them, but okay give it a whirl. Don’t have a broom or hose handy?  Just act loud and big.   Turkeys tend to dominate people they find as subordinate.

If you have a problem with turkey street toughs hanging around your property, it’s recommended that you try balloons, pinwheels, or Wacky Wavy Inflatable Tube Man. Evidently turkeys hate a celebration and will steer clear.  Actually, it’s because they are afraid of things that are moving around.

Don’t feed the birds

And what every you do, never, ever feed the turkeys. The globe article reports that giving turkeys food can lead to aggressive and or bold behavior. “once that is established in the birds, “it can be very difficult to change.” You certainly don’t want turkeys waiting around on your stoop look to be feed and then when you don’t have any food a physical altercation occurs.  Just don’t feed them.  That goes for seagulls too. 

Bottom line, treat turkeys the same way we treat a pack a teenagers, just cross the street and avoid eye contact.

You can see the full list of helpful turkey tips here.

 

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and Caught in Dot and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Hockey mom, yoga enthusiast, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.