November 22, 2012

Wild Turkeys in New England – the great waddle north

The wild turkey has been acorn-munching, shotgun-dodging its way to New England over the past two decades. Like many species that we today take for granted, the turkey is a southern species that's population has moved northward. These large, lumbering bundles of feathers have been surprising motorists on Memorial Drive in Cambridge and suburban backyards throughout Southern New England. On many a morning families have woken up to an army of large, unwieldy birds sauntering across their lawn, eating seed from feeders, then disappearing into the woods.

Wild Turkeys are native to North America though much of the U.S. population was hunted off by 1900. Since the 1940s reintroduction programs of wild birds (captive birds never took hold) have populated all 48 contiguous states and the population is on the rise. 

This time of year look for upturned snow under oak trees where large wintering flocks root around for acorns before flying up onto slender tree limbs where they roost precariously for the night.


1 comment:

Pat from Holliston said...

I am very grateful for your sharing your knowlege and passion. Belated Happy Thanksgiving. Pat Fuller

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is an educator, bird watcher, and writer fascinated by the intersections of place, people, nature, and culture. He works for Mass Audubon and lives in the heart of Massachusetts. For questions or comments please contact: alexanderjosephdunn@gmail.com

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