Suburban Birds

Wild turkeys are considered finge birds that can live close to civilization. They are often around big woodlots adjoining neighborhoods and more birds can be seen living closer to home than ever before.

Tom Huges, wildlife biologist and assistant vice president for the NWTF’s conservation programs said, “There are a number of reasons we have turkeys in the suburbs. The turkeys are not necessarily moving to town, but the towns or suburbs are expanding out to meet the turkeys.”

Wild turkey populations have grown and some birds wind up on the fringe of city limits. These turkeys act differently than most rural birds found in remote lands or swamps.

Bird behavior

  • Turkeys tend to become comfortable with their surroundings, especially when no hunting is involved
  • Humans are no longer perceived as threats
  • Birds don’t spook from hunting pressure and only fear an occasional predator
  • Turkeys flock to areas where there is a lot to eat, usually at the edge of town, and think with their stomachs

Remember these rules if turkeys are living in fringes near you:

  • A turkey considers a car to be less of a threat than a walking human. When turkeys stand near roads, slow down and don’t honk your horn. A frightened wild turkey may fly up and crash through your windshield, causing damage and probable injury.
  • Don’t feed turkeys in your backyard. This makes them return for easy meals.
  • When hunting fringe turkeys, make sure you know what buildings, walking paths or other human or livestock areas are present.
  • Make sure all landowners know you are hunting the area. Farmers walk through the woods to check their cows, even in fringe areas.

Hunting fringe areas has become a common theme. Double check to be certain the area you’re considering hunting is legal.

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