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Turkey takeover: DNR gives tips on how to deter turkeys from the neighborhood

Turkeys that become comfortable in suburban or residential areas can become aggressive. Male turkeys will become even more so during the spring breeding season.
Wild turkey in wooded area, stock image.

Wild turkeys thrive in Michigan, and now that spring is in full force many have come out to play. While the presence of wild turkeys is great and even exciting for hunters, they are not so welcome in more urban and residential areas.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), turkeys that become comfortable in those areas can become aggressive. Male turkeys will become even more so during the spring breeding season.

“Male turkeys, especially, can be aggressive during breeding season and may peck at their reflections in shiny car paint, sliding doors and windows,” the DNR said in a press release. 

Turkeys are attracted to shiny objects and windows, and they are also drawn to birdseed. The DNR said to be careful when feeding songbirds, as residential bird feeders can attract unwelcome guests.

To reduce turkey visitors, the DNR recommends removing food sources such as birdseed and keeping vehicles inside when possible.

If a turkey does find its way into a residential area, residents can use gentle hazing techniques, such as making loud noises or walking toward the turkey while opening and closing an umbrella, to discourage and divert the animal.

According to the DNR, turkeys are naturally scared of humans. By removing temptations and displaying dominance, Michigan residents can keep their neighborhoods safe from the turkey takeover.  

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