The wild turkeys of Berkeley: Out and about again

This flock of wild turkeys was spotted at around 8:45 am on Thursday on San Pablo at Marin. Photo: Ty Alper

Is it our imagination, or are the wild turkeys of Berkeley becoming bigger and more prevalent? It was only a couple of weeks ago that we reported on two clusters of the fabulous fowl roaming the streets of Berkeley and Albany. And yesterday a photograph of a group of them happily exploring someone’s roof crossed our radar.

The photos here were sent in by Ty Alper, who was driving down San Pablo Avenue this morning around 8:45 am, and spotted this flock near the intersection with Marin.

“They were in the street until they got scared and scattered into an alley,” he writes.

Turkey takeover anyone?

The turkeys made off into an alley after being disturbed on the street. Photo: Ty Alper

Gobble gobble: Wild turkeys roam streets of Berkeley, Albany 

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  • oh, it’s a picture of real wild turkeys.  I thought from the headline it might be a shot of the Berkeley Bowl parking lot.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s time for a Turkeleyside joke-off:
    BEAKING NEWS! One wonders if this meaty story will take wing. It sure has people flocking to Berkeleyside. I guess this is one more tall tail for Berkeley, the stuffing of legend. Seeing that local food source probably has Alice Waters a might bit peckish, though vegans will quail at the notion. I’m sure someone will grouse about their edibility. (Forgive me if that’s a basteless assertion.) In any event, I’m sure glad we’re being kept abreast of this situation.

  • Alan Tobey

    Maybe we could train them to mob-attack the local deer, which are not as cute and cause real damage.  In exchange for officially proclaimed sanctuary, an admirable Berkeley tradition.

  • Eric: looking for a writing job?! You’re in!

  • Jennifer

    I want to know if there’s benn an increase in urban skunk population. I’ve been seeing (and smelling) them all over town lately.

  • Jennifer

    if *there’s been* an increase in *the* population… typos, my bad.

  • Jedjacobsohn

    Interesting story…too bad the photos aren’t better.

  • Tom

    “… fabulous FOUL”? Tracey, what have you got against turkeys?

  • Oops. Freudian slip. I do think they are a little scary! Fowl is what I meant of course. It shall be rectified!

  • Neil

    I did a little turkey massage to Ty Alper’s wonderful pictures.

  • Thanks Neil! Although I thought Jedjacobsohn’s comment was unnecessarily grumpy — :) —  we welcome these improved photos and have switched the previous ones out.

  • Antonius Block

    I’m waiting for the comment from XXXX blaming the turkey population on the lax policies of the BUSD.

    This comment has been moderated.

  • Alan Tobey

    About now is the start of the skunk mating season, which can involve more-than-usual male strutting and odorous confrontations (think Pepe le Pew, a treasured Disney character).  

  • resident

    Or maybe Berkeley Accountable Schools? These birds are crossing the border from Albany, after all.

  • thunderchick

    jedjacobsohn is a professional photographer – i’m impressed he even deigned to comment on these photos

  • Anonymous

    Looking forward to a spirited discussion over wild turkey.

    I’ll see your entendre, and double it.


  • thunderchick: Professional photographer or not, the subtext of the turkey photos is that they were snapped by someone, probably on his commute to work probably on a smart phone, in order to capture an entertaining moment in Berkeley. The quality, while not great, is hardly the point.

  • John Holland

    Here’s Paul Deen’s Cornbread Stuffing recipe. It gets 5 stars!

  • I almost hit a flock of them driving the other day.  They are everywhere, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito.  Watch out deer, you have neighbors!  At least the turkeys don’t eat my garden (yet).

  • Next time hopefully the photographer can carry his/her backdrop and strobe kit.  It’s breaking news you turkey. :-))

  • Anonymous

    Yes, yes and yes from the North Side of town here!  A post just a bit lower talks about mating season, which can only mean more of them as well.  I have to close my windows very rapidly and then turn on the fans at least three times a week if not more.  I was going to call animal control to ask about trapping and removing them as this is getting old real fast.  When at a hot springs in lake country many years ago I was flattened at 3 am. through an open window by one and then later I woke to find to two ( 2 ) large ‘vector control’ cages filled with about 10 to 15 of these critters each, as apparently they had been under seige there.  Any help available from animal control, City or County here in Berkeley for these creatures?  I do remember discussion by the city regarding a sterilization program for the dreaded raccoon population here that far out numbers humans now.  Talk about vicious primal territorial fights at 3 am.!  Pepper helps if you can even get near them, however a high pressure garden water hose is much more effective if they are up in the trees as your much safer — in meters — from the snarling beasts.  

  • I live in the Elmwood in Berkeley. I haven’t seen any for about a year. What has happened to them here ?

  • Josiah Johnston

    I saw this flock of turkeys today on San Pablo, a block or two south of Marin. Crazy and unexpected. 
    Almost as weird as the time I turned around after parking my bike near the Claremont and saw a woman hitching her llama to a pole. 


    Hi Tracey.  And I thought we had a lot of Wild Turkeys up here in Canada!!  My you sure take the cake for numbers.  Great pictures!!!  I live in Toronto,
    Ontario, Canada,
    and over the past year, my wife and I have come upon several Wild Turkeys.  The first time was in a full force snowstorm in the wilds of Ontario, and the second time was recently when we came upon a hen with her baby turkey
    flying up into a tree in the depths of Algonquin Park. 
    Fortunately, we had our camera with us and got some good video and
    pictures.  We have posted them for anyone
    interested at:


    Now last Friday, we finally got to see and photograph a
    Northern Saw-Whet Owl out in the bush.  This was the first time we had ever seen this
    bird.  And we had only waited 50
    years!!  For those interested in seeing our
    pictures they are at:

  • Larry

    I saw this flock on Talbot this morning (Sunday).

    I understand that the flock in Richmond is pretty aggressive towards walkers, including children.

    Does anyone know how they react to an attack? For example, if my 75 pound Siberian would charge them, would they run or attack him as a group?