23 Nov 2022
Wild turkeys are ancestors of the home turkeys we eat on Thanksgiving. Most wild turkeys keep away from people however in uncommon situations a male turns into aggressive towards folks. It’s as a result of they’re social birds.
Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) flocks have a social construction known as a pecking order that’s particularly essential in the course of the breeding season in March to Might. Dominant males puff and strut and confront different males to keep up their very own dominance. If a subordinate will get out of line the dominant turkey struts and gobbles at him, pecks him, or flies at him with spurs uncovered. Discover the spur under.
A dominant male who’s acclimated to folks might mistake us as subordinates and attempt to put us in our place. Often one turns into fixated on bicycles and the cyclists driving them(*).
In a single case in Livermore, California an aggressive wild turkey made a motorist’s day. A policeman stopped a rushing driver and was going to challenge a ticket however a wild turkey noticed the motorbike and challenged the police officer.
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has recommendation on tips on how to stop wild turkey aggression towards folks.
Aggressive conduct in direction of folks happens when turkeys have change into overly comfy within the presence of people, often over a number of months and even years, in areas the place turkeys are fed. [For this reason] By no means deliberately pass over meals like hen seed or corn in makes an attempt to assist or view turkeys.
(*) p.s. I ponder if male turkeys that assault bicycles mistake the wheels for big fanned tail shows.
(picture from Wikimedia Commons, movies embedded from YouTube)