Wild turkey sightings have gone from being a rare occasion to becoming a common event in recent years, as their populations have exploded in some urban areas of California. These large birds often travel together in flocks, where they cause trouble as they search for food – by scratching and digging in gardens, and leaving their waste behind. Wild turkeys often pose a traffic hazard as they cross streets or walk in roads. They can also be aggressive and may chase or harass people.
Sometimes people think it's neat to have wild turkeys around and may even encourage them by putting out food. However, did you know it is illegal in California to feed wildlife?
What should you do if you see wild turkeys in your neighborhood?
- Remove any bird feeders that might be attracting them.
- Install motion-detecting sprinklers to deter turkeys from foraging in your yard (sprinklers work for some other vertebrate pests as well).
- Wild turkeys typically will not enter yards with dogs.
- If confronted by an aggressive or persistent wild turkey, open an umbrella or wave a walking stick to help steer it out of your path.
- When driving, proceed slowly and avoid any sudden stops or swerves that may cause an accident.
Read more about wild turkeys in California and other control measures at https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Wild-Turkey