Wild Turkeys

Life Cycle

Turkey poults (young turkeys) stay with the hen turkey feeding on insects (protein source) during late spring and summer. (Connecticut Wildlife, Summer 2003).

This is no joke. Turkeys do cause damage. It isn't a lot of damage. My first turkey damage call happened on 11/11/99 or there abouts. I couldn't believe my ears. The caller said that the turkeys were pecking on cars in the parking lot. The pecking caused paint to chip. The caller's boss wanted to find a way to get the wild turkeys to stop.

turkeys damage pecking toms hunting

turkeys damage pecking toms hunting


Reducing Turkey Grazing:

Stopping Turkeys from pecking cars

I put out a call to find out solutions to this turkey car damage and here are what others suggested.wild Massachusetts turkey

A couple years ago, my secretary had her black Mazda Miata sports car attacked in the parking lot of our office (here in rural north coastal California) by a tom turkey that saw its reflection in the shiny surface of the rear of the car. It engaged in quite an attack with wings and legs before she could get out the door and chase it away.

The car sustained scratches in the paint requiring the bumper to be completely stripped and repainted, and the trunk to be buffed out, to a tune of approximately $1,100. The insurance adjuster probably had an interesting time writing this one up.

Like songbirds that seasonally attack their reflection in exterior rear-view mirrors of vehicles, the root cause is the bird seeing its reflection, which stimulates territorial defense / mating competition behaviors. I've seen some folks place small paper sacks over the mirrors of their vehicles when parked.

Similarly, using a protective car cover for one's vehicle would solve the problem.

Robert M. Timm, Superintendent & Extension Wildlife Specialist UC Hopland Research & Extension Center, 4070 University Road, Hopland CA 95449

Up here in far northern California, we have a similar problem with ravens. They will attack shiny stove pipes. We are rural and many homes are heated with wood stoves. Having the ravens up on the roof banging around the stove pipe for hours on end can get old real fast. Some folks paint the stovepipes black so there is no reflection. That, of course, is not an option with the cars and turkeys. If they don't want to do lethal control, how about not washing their cars? Perhaps less shiny cars would solve their problem.

Around here, cars get so covered with mud, it's hard to tell what color the paint is!  Kim.

Dispersing Turkey Roosts

Turkeys reside in trees at night. Sometimes these roosts become an annoyance to local property owners. One way to disperse the roost is to shoot at the tree they are roosting in. Be careful, one animal professional correctly noted that your shooting may be misconstrued as hunting out of season (a violation of the law). Of course, you wouldn't want to harm any of the birds unless you could legally do so.




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