Wild turkeys thriving in Wisconsin, together with in city neighborhoods | WUWM 89.7 FM

One among Wisconsin’s biggest wildlife administration success tales has been the restoration of turkeys within the state, in line with the Division of Pure Assets.

However the giant wild chicken isn’t sticking to rural wooded expanses.

Some flocks are fairly blissful residing within the suburbs — together with Wauwatosa.

DNR wildlife biologist Nathan Holoubek combed the greenway that meanders by Wauwatosa’s Washington Heights neighborhood.

Susan Bence

DNR wildlife biologist Nathan Holoubek mentioned wild turkeys have tailored properly to communities like Wauwatosa with its open inexperienced areas, mature bushes for roosting, and loads of nutritious meals.

Though he didn’t spot a turkey, Holoubek mentioned this inexperienced house is precisely the place wild turkeys would flock. He described the habitat turkeys choose.

“Open house, blended with bushes for canopy, bushy or grassy areas for nesting after which open secure areas the place they will see predators coming, the place they will forage throughout the day and use these giant roost bushes for evening time,” Holoubek mentioned. “They’re splendidly adaptable in suburban areas.”

Holoubek mentioned not each house owner is thrilled in regards to the turkey’s adaptability. “In the event that they’re in your yard scratching throughout and ripping every part up or roosting above your driveway — that may be fairly problematic,” he mentioned.

However individuals who put out meals for birds are a part of the issue. A lot of the 12 months, Holoubek mentioned, turkeys gravitate to a carbohydrate-dense weight-reduction plan, “which is why they actually zone in on chicken feeders as a result of chicken seed could be very excessive in carbohydrates.”

Holoubek advises individuals perturbed by turkeys to take away their chicken feeders, “That solves in all probability about 90% of turkey points in city areas,” he mentioned.

For the remaining 10%, he suggests planting bushes or tall stands of native vegetation to dam turkeys’ view of their environment.

john turkey 2.jpeg

John Pokrandt

One among many turkeys residing in Wauwatosa.

“Sight is their primary protection. They see predators they usually can fly away. If there’s bushes in your yard, they’re extra more likely to transfer away,” mentioned Holoubek.

Holoubek mentioned banging cookie sheets, squirting undesirable turkeys with a hose or putting in a sprinkler with a movement detector can ward the enormous birds off.

Holoubek calls turkeys a fairly social species however understands why some residents may not heat as much as calling them neighbors.

“A turkey is a 20-plus pound chicken. It is a reasonably large animal and when you don’t perceive their conduct, they are often intimidating,” mentioned Holoubek.

Then consider having been hatched and rising up in a suburban panorama, “They’re not going to run away when you’re strolling down the sidewalk,” mentioned Holoubek.

One remaining bit of recommendation, Holoubek mentioned, by no means ever set your canine free to ward off turkeys.

Just some blocks away, John Pokrandt wouldn’t dream of releasing his little hound canine out to drive off turkeys.

“They’ll chase something. I noticed my neighbor operating by his entrance yard, adopted by his canine, it’s an enormous one, a Doberman or one thing,” Pokrandt mentioned. “ Then I spotted they have been being chased by the turkeys.”

Pokrandt mentioned turkeys don’t hand around in his background, they strut proper down the his road.

John Pokrandt said police sirens and chasing after turkeys didn't stop the birds for long.

John Pokrandt

John Pokrandt mentioned police sirens and chasing after turkeys did not cease the birds for lengthy.

“We discuss with them because the east facet crew. Their favourite place is on the street or the entrance yard. They have been tying up site visitors, 4 of them. The police rolled up, beeped their siren they usually didn’t transfer,” Pokrandt mentioned. “Then the cop obtained out of the automobile and chased them away. The police left after which they got here again.”

Pokrandt wouldn’t describe turkeys as pleasant, however he does discover them fascinating.

A wry smile unfold throughout his face as Pokrandt mentioned he’s starting to surprise who encroached on whose habitat — people or these very massive birds.

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