Wild turkeys: How to coexist with these birds

Last updated May 18, 2024
Reading time: 1 min

Wild turkeys are passing through our neighborhoods more and more often. This large bird is not usually dangerous. Here are some tips on what to do if you encounter a wild turkey, and how to prevent it from attacking you.

People may think that wild turkeys are a problem because some individual birds display dominant behavior. For example, turkeys may chase and peck humans. They may even attack cars.

What should you do if you see a wild turkey around your yard?

  • Do not go near it
  • Do not feed it
  • Make a noise to scare it away or use an object such as an umbrella or a stick to keep it at a distance and scare it off. Do not hit the bird.

Reduce access to food

Turkeys often eat seeds that fall out of feeders, food waste from poorly sealed bins or food that they find on the ground. 

Feeding wild animals, even indirectly by leaving garbage or food out, makes them less afraid of humans. This can lead to aggressive behavior. 

Some tips for keeping wild turkeys away: 

  • Close garbage, recycling and compost bins tightly
  • Use feeders that prevent seeds from scattering on the ground or install a screen underneath to hold them in. Clean the ground under the feeders often. If a turkey is in your neighborhood, remove the feeders temporarily . 
  • Install netting over your vegetable and berry plants to prevent turkeys from feeding on them.

Although they can fly, turkeys prefer to walk. A fence may make your yard more difficult to enter and less attractive to the birds. 

By changing our behaviors, we can coexist better with the wild animals that live in our city.

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