2.5 min readBy Published On: April 8th, 2020Categories: Features0 Comments on What are the Southie Turkeys up to?

Love is in the air

They travelled in a group of three – the three amigos.  You saw them in trees, on top of cars, strutting down Broadway.  Always the three best friends together.  But things change – in particular spring has sprung and the trio seems to have broken up – thanks to mating season.

Turkey Mating Season

One was spotted last week in front of the L Street Bathhouse, strutting his stuff, puffing out his feathers and fanning his tale, gobbling, trying to an attract a female. Forget about monogamy, these wild turkeys mate with several females.

Love ’em then leave ’em

After mating, the hens lay eggs in a shallow, leaf-lined hole in the ground and usually contains 12-15 eggs. According to the National Audubon Society, hatching occurs after an incubation period of 28 days. Broods usually appear in the first week of June.Young turkeys remain with their mother for at least 4 to 5 months.  Males take no role in the care of young turkeys.

COVID-19 or not

If you see a wild turkey, always give it some space. The urban wild turkey has been known to be aggressive.

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?

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 attack 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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