Flock of wild turkey poults takes a stroll in Berkeley


Wild turkeys take a stroll down Cornell Ave. in Berkeley on July 13. Photo: Neil Mishalov

Berkeleyside’s wild turkey watch continues.

According to Neil Mishalov, who took this photo, we see here a mature female turkey taking a flock of turkey poults on a feeding expedition on Cornell Avenue near Hopkins Street on Saturday, July 13.

Unless we’re mistaken, there are at least 14 baby turkeys taking a stroll here. That’s quite a responsibility, especially on busy city streets. Still, mama turkey doesn’t look perturbed. All in a day’s work, we assume.

The wild turkeys of Berkeley: out and about again (01.26.12)
Gobble gobble: Wild turkeys roam streets of Berkeley, Albany

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  • James

    I guess you can call that free range.

  • Jeff

    I saw a turkey calmly strolling along the sidewalk on Shattuck Square a couple of Saturdays ago. Right in the middle of the afternoon in downtown Berkeley.

  • Lin Brand

    Well, I wondered where the Albany turkeys went, now I know.

  • Guest

    Are the adults edible, or are they too tough? Turkeys are bit scary when full grown, and can be very aggressive. I have seen them peck at adults, children, and pets. Between their sizable and quite strong beaks and their clawed feet they are not to be messed with. A new urban menace.

  • Woolsey

    They are excellent, but I suppose there’s a law against that….

  • guest

    Is there anything that can be done about the burgeoning crow population currently settled in as the latest prisoners of urban scavageing? You can hear their nasty loud caws as they peck open garbage and crap massively on the sidewalk. Worse, they’re bullys who harass every other avian species from songs birds to hawks.

  • Chris

    Oh the humanity!

    Actually – the hawks are swooping in to eat the crow babies. The crows would not F with the hawks otherwise. They are too smart.

    The real bullies are the house sparrows…

  • Iceland_1622

    I ran this issue in a general way to the editors a waaaaaaaaaays back re: my own neighborhood in N. Berkeley that the crows literally moved in and then took over. They are immune to noise and all else and will just circle briefly with even the loudest of thunder-clap like booms or noises, as they are used to it. What occurred in my neighborhood was the totally unexpected both for me and for them! Many of their favorite trees were ‘removed’ and thus their perches. I was stunned to see them take off to another hunting ground and have invaded another block I suspect.

    Now don’t tell anyone, as this has to be researched *very* carefully and then done with experience and then finesse, however certain lasers at specific wavelengths have been known to be their bane. However, again as before, your eyes are more important and you may have to modify the laser for a bit more power in the milliwatt range and that is where things become dangerous to you and to others ( your eyes and specifically your retinas ). I would talk to the real experienced people who work with such critters everyday. I remember how these pigeons were finally ‘relocated’ to corn fields in Canada from San Francisco I believe. It’s really a wild story, but they were *not* about to move. Hint: corn soaked in a very strong domestic vodka or whiskey alcohol solution as to make them fully intoxicated and thus easily picked up by hand. In this condition oddly they are thus fully prepared for public office and should be transported to Sacramento or better yet Washington DC. I suspect that at least daily business then would include a long and in-depth raucous debate surrounding the issues of the day vs. the present silent gridlock. In the meantime, be patient. See if your trees where they roost may need to be taken down as per the usual diseases and secondary weakened root structure/s. Crows may very well be gone. Street people are obviously and unfortunately another discussion for another day, however I wonder………hmmmmmm…… :)

  • guest

    “…the hawks are swooping in to eat the crow babies…”

    Bullsh*t! Has anyone ever seen a baby crow?

  • BerkeleyTurkey

    Well, its about time that us Berkeley Turkeys started getting some attention from Berkeleyside. Up until now it has been Berkeley Deer this Berkeley Deer that. If I have to read another story about some fawn eating someone’s garden, I’ll lose my gizzard. While I’ll save the legalities for the lawyers, I can tell you it is immoral to shoot poor innocent turkeys. We only peck people when we are feeling threatened, hungry, tired, sad, territorial or amorous.

  • guest

    Garbage can be “poisonous”. Dead crows tell no tales.

  • bisphenol

    Not really, you would need to obtain a hunting license first, and of course Berkeley’s municipal code effectively restricts the number of ways you can take the birds (guns, etc.), but in the end there’s nothing saying you can’t eat them. Maybe trapping, nets, or just chase them down with a machete.

  • bisphenol

    btw, I would just remind any detractors that the turkeys are an invasive non-native species introduced by the state for game purposes.

    bon apetit!

  • bisphenol

    Okay, so it looks like the Cal DFG regs are a little more restrictive than I realized, since turkeys fall into the whole “upland game” category. Full regs here ..


    Don’t forget though, if you catch them eating your garden then you can always claim anti-depredation and sort it out in arrears ..

    My vote is still on machete.

  • guest

    BT…Nicely done!…But seriously folks, if you’re a big-ish animal who’s not some human’s pet, life in the city is deadly dangerous. The turkeys should ride the deer out of town (with the help of animal control, if necessary.)

  • 2ndGenBerkeleyan

    I think we need to think this through a little more systemically… As
    they continue to multiply x 14 exponentially, the flock will need to be
    culled or thinned at some point.

    I propose a non-profit business employ at-risk, urban youth and train
    them to apply some of their inner city skills towards trapping turkeys
    for Thanksgiving sales.

    These birds would be marketed as local, indigenous, free range, organic, street or urban park to table direct heirloom turkeys.

  • Iceland_1622

    Well not to be too Hannibal Lecter about his, one could always medicate them and then cook them for dinner on the backyard barbie grill. Here are the recipes as well as a voluminous amount of information on crows in general: http://www.crowbusters.com/recipes.htm

    As per the local turkey population, let them be and allow this to run it’s course. After the next major quake and we all need a good dinner after FEMA is stranded in Denver and all airports are closed and deeply damaged, just some canned corn and spare cheap vodka might very well produce some healthy local poultry for consumption over a gas powered grill.

  • bisphenol

    Agreed, native and invasive alike, the local flora and fauna figure prominently in my disaster preparedness planning.

    In fact, “Sciurus niger var. berkeleyi” have demonstrated to be quite palatable when prepared with some consideration toward their lean composition (hint — slow confit in duck fat, then serve with white beans and garlic, or shredded and crisped on a tortilla with guacamole).

  • bisphenol

    Indeed the geometric growth is the big problem. You don’t have to look further than the Sus scrofa / feral pig problem to understand that. (If you haven’t seen what pigs do to the landscape, it’s really remarkable.)

  • guest

    We’ve been recycling dead crows in the green bins since December.

  • michael

    wow! that’s cool… we have alot of turkey around our mountain home but they have never come to the garage area. Never had turkey poults around but I know they are around.

    I have a trail camera set-up and often get pictures of the turkey, gray and red fox, coyotes, ground hogs and other wildlife.

    Great pictures!

  • guest

    My sister had her eye pecked out (blinded) by a turkey when she was five. It was an all white bird, not brown, as the ones pictured. My parents bought a male and female from a neighbor shortly after we moved to St. Helena. I remember them being very large and aggressive.