Massachusetts wildlife officials offer tips on dealing with wild turkeys

Wild Turkeys Behavior
A wild turkey crosses Mt Auburn St. in Cambridge. –Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe

BOSTON (AP) — Wild turkeys are becoming an increasingly common site on city and suburban streets in Massachusetts — sometimes leading to aggressive interactions with people and pets.

Those interactions can increase between March and May, which is breeding season for wild turkeys. Some may exhibit behavior like pecking, following or displaying other intimidating actions toward people.

MassWildlife officials are offering some tips to minimize contact with turkeys.

Most importantly, the public should avoid feeding wild turkeys. Bird feeders meant to attract songbirds can also attract turkeys as seeds fall to the ground.

People can also scare bold turkeys with loud noises or water sprayed from a hose.

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Mylar tape, balloons, or pinwheels can be used — although they may have limited effect as turkeys become more habituated to being around people.

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