Wild turkeys have been a growing problem for homeowners in the New York/New Jersey area. They have become common in many suburban areas, like Staten Island. These large birds can travel in flocks and can be a major nuisance outside of your home. This article will explore how turkeys can be a problem for homeowners, and some ways to deter them.
Why Are Turkeys in Suburban Neighborhoods?
While the overall population of wild turkeys in the US is on the decline, many suburban communities across the country are seeing a rise in wild turkeys on their streets. This is most likely due to shrinking habitats.
Why Are Turkeys In My Yard?
Like most wild animals, turkeys are probably seeking out food. Turkeys can eat a wide variety of plant and animal matter. They are expert foragers and can eat anything from acorns and berries to grasshoppers and small lizards. Turkeys may forage your yard for garden plants, bugs in your lawn, or scraps from the trash. Berry bushes and oak trees may attract turkeys, as these provide food that turkeys know to eat.
Suburban Turkey Nests
Turkeys may take up roost on your property. Turkey nests can be built in trees or on the ground, depending on what is available. Given the opportunity, a turkey may nest on top of shorter homes, or inside sheds. Turkey nests look like large versions of traditional bird nests, utilizing sticks and branches in addition to smaller twigs. Because of their large size, turkeys can create serious damage to trees, bushes, and structures on your property as they nest there.
Are Turkeys Dangerous?
Turkeys can pose a threat to people and pets. Wild turkeys can be aggressive, especially those who have become accustomed to urban life. They may chase people away or even attack. Additionally, wild turkeys may be carriers of infectious diseases. Children and pets can be more susceptible to attacks by wild turkeys, as their smaller size may make them seem less threatening than an adult person.
Turkeys and the Breeding Season
Turkeys can be especially dangerous in the spring breeding season, where male turkeys will be testosterone-pumped and looking to establish dominance. Turkeys may fight each other, or attempt to fight humans to show off for potential mates. In recent years, people have even found turkeys crashing through glass windows or into cars to fight their reflections.