Aggressive turkeys pester residents

Posted at 2:22 AM, Oct 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-18 02:22:50-04

WAREHAM, MA (WFXT/CNN) - Welcome to Wareham, also known as “turkey town.”

Residents are taking videos of groups of turkeys casually sitting on fences, on playground equipment - they’re everywhere in this town. But why?

Turkeys move around in groups, and much of that movement has to do with food, said Wayne Peterson, the Mass Audubon Director of the Important Bird Areas Program.

“At this time of the year, they feed on acorns, so wherever there are a lot of oak trees and plenty of acorns on the ground, it’s not unusual to see a lot of turkeys,” Peterson said.

Which could explain why some neighborhoods are seeing them in droves.

“They are very bold,” one resident said. “They just walk into the street and people stop for them.”

Another resident pointed out, “They don’t move at all. Even when they go fast, they go slow.”

Peterson said wild turkeys are actually very shy creatures, not like these. Typically, male turkeys are only aggressive during mating season, which is already over this year.

But as cities and towns continue to grow, turkeys are finding ways to fit right in, which can cause a shock to some.

There’s no need to be afraid, Peterson said, but it’s a good idea to give neighborhood turkeys their space.

“The thing about turkeys - they’re big! They’re huge. They’re bigger than small children,” Peterson said. “I think there’s a certain sense of, ‘Whoa! What is this? A lot of them are habituated. They may not run away."

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