Berkeley’s wild turkeys: Is there anywhere they won’t go?

Wild turkeys are part and parcel of daily life in the city of Berkeley. Berkeleyside receives regular updates from our readers of sightings. Sometimes the birds come in pairs, sometimes in large flocks — rarely alone. And, it seems, there is nowhere they will not deign to roam. This past week we have received photos of turkeys on a traffic circle, on a roof, even at the doors of City Hall.

Above: a video by Kim Aronson showing traffic disrupted by turkeys crossing the road (of course!) And below a selection of photos shared with us by readers.


Wild turkeys in front of City Hall. Photo: Catherine Ference


Wild turkeys on the traffic circle at California and Addison. Photo: Jeffrey Troutman


On the roof of her neighbors’ house. Photo: Heather Raydo Sobky

A feast of turkeys:
Flock of wild turkey poults take a stroll in Berkeley (07.16.13)
The wild turkeys of Berkeley: out and about again (01.26.12)
Gobble gobble: Wild turkeys roam streets of Berkeley, Albany (01.06.12)

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.

Print Friendly
Tagged , ,
Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comments policy »
  • Bruce_Mc

    There were some turkeys at the North Branch Library last Saturday morning. Some very excited little kids were chasing them around. I think the kids just wanted to get closer to the turkeys.

  • Mark Rhoades

    Turkeys should be left alone, especially by kids and small dogs. They are quite dangerous when threatened and have exceedingly strong legs and feet tipped with strong talons. In addition, their beaks are VERY strong and sharp and they are not afraid to use them.

  • Chris J

    I love to see wildlife in seeming abundance in our urban environment.

  • Joe

    And they often travel in dangerous packs.

    When will someone finally deal with the scourge of gangs in Berkeley?!

  • AS

    Although the wildlife is fun to see among the urban areas, the frequent occurrence of deer along Cedar Ave is becoming a big hazard – several near accidents, people walking up on deer in driveways… Is there a particular reason why wildlife is so active this time of the year and heads down from the hills?

  • DisGuested

    I am sure this kind of snark evokes riotous mirth over brie and chablis in the hills, but it isn’t reducing the actual, real, non-PC homicide rate in this city.

  • SicilianaTrevino

    Technically, it may not be snark Disguested. The collective noun for turkeys is “gang”

  • DisGuested

    And the collective noun for dead is “dead.” I am completely baffled by the ability of what appears to be a plurality among our population to entertain themselves with complete disregard for the actual, real-world suffering of others, but something tells me you guys don’t live at Russell and California.

  • How does writing a story about wildlife indicate a disregard for the killings in Berkeley? They are unrelated. We run many crime stories detailing the “real non-PC homicide rate in this city.” Levity also exists in Berkeley.

  • SicilianaTrevino

    I thought you were all for being snide about Berkeley news? :)

  • DisGuested

    Did you read this thread before you posted this comment? To help you: I was referring to the comment above, “When will someone finally deal with the scourge of gangs in Berkeley?!”

    This has nothing to do with “writing a story about wildlife.” If you are unable to comprehend the obvious dynamics of a comment exchange, how do you expect to moderate comment threads? Do you not perceive a relation between this thread and the contentious one about gang signs that was prompted by a photo essay recently?

  • No I did not sense a relation between the two threads. It would be great (although not currently possible) to be able to ask you a question directly if I need help being able to “comprehend the obvious dynamics of a comment exchange.”

  • guest

    the problem is not the story the problem is the completely off-topic and insensitive jokes about gang violence in berkeley being allowed in this thread by the moderators.

  • guest

    even if there was no link how is a comment about gangs in berkeley on topic for an article about turkeys??

  • DisGuested

    Actually, I am all for serious and open discussion and coverage of crime in Berkeley. If I have been snide in relation to that, it would have been in relation to the refusal or inability of some to face the problems squarely, and their related imposition and countenance of absurd pretenses and anachronistic New Left platitudes and posturing that inhibit discussion and policing. I have never found homicidal violence to be a lighthearted subject.

  • Mbfarrel

    The deer are active now because its mating season, and they don’t need to come down from the hills; they live here.

  • Parliament of Volvos

    The article is about a gang of turkeys!

  • PainInTheDonkey

    I hope the gangs of turkeys don’t lead to murders of crows in Berkeley.

  • Just Wondering

    Will somebody who objects to ‘Joe’s’ post please say if there is any way he could have used the word ‘gang’ that would have been acceptable?

    It would have worked for his to ask

    “When will someone finally deal with the scourge of rafters in Berkeley?!”

  • Just Wondering

    It would ***NOT*** have worked for his to ask

  • George_Hamilton

    Jeez, people, Lighten up. It was Funny. And we learned a new collective noun.

    (If you’re worried about gangs, you might want to concern yourself with the gangs that run the banks, and the corporations that run our legislators. Berkeley gangs emulate our leaders.)

  • Rachel Hope Crossman

    I’ve seen the turkeys too, along 10th St. near Dwight Way.

  • guest

    wow, insensitive. the people dying in west berkeley are humans not animals.

  • guest

    The turkeys are an invasive species introduced by the state fish & game folks for the express purpose of game hunting. So now they are reproducing in large numbers, maybe not quite as much so as the feral pig population, but to the point that they have escalated from occasional sighting to frequent in the last couple of years. Soon they will be a multiply to the point of being a burden.

    We should start culling them now, before it gets out of hand.

  • Charlie

    Yowza–does culling mean shooting?? Commenters won’t like this insensitive concept….

  • Charlie

    The fall is mating season for the deer….they stand in the streets looking around stupidly, especially the bucks. Big problem for drivers, mainly at night. It happens every fall, and I don’t think the deer are going far from where they live to behave this way.
    A couple of the photos of the turkeys showed the toms with their tails spread out–maybe they are mating too?? It seems like spring is more the time for birds to mate, but what do I know?

  • leetramp

    I’m a vegetarian, but I hear people prefer the taste of range fed beef over factory farmed beef. Maybe wild turkey would taste better than factory farmed turkeys. How about a big “hunt” just in time for Thanksgiving, and someone could teach people how to de-feather and prepare their turkeys–very DIY, Berkeleyish :-)

  • TN

    I’m sorry to say that having eaten a wild turkey as a part of a long ago Turkey day feast in rural Northern California, I could not tell the difference between wild turkey and the store bought kind. It was kind of disappointing.

    Now, feral pig meat is a completely different story. If you eat pork, don’t miss the opportunity to eat the feral version. It tastes like real meat.

  • guest

    The method of take is an open question, but subject to a number of laws including F&G and BMC. Shooting firearms within city limits is out of the question, but trapping, archery and machetes are all fair game.

    I don’t see how the topic of culling is any more or less insensitive than choosing to introduce a species to an environment. In fact, it would be irresponsible not to take responsibility for managing the problem from top to bottom.

  • guest

    Roger that, them feral pigs taste good. Except some of the sexually mature males, depending on the time of year. The ‘boar taint’ is a funky flavor.

  • Mbfarrel

    They won’t go to Emeryville; they do have standards

  • kinglet749

    It does crack me up that mere turkeys have people sitting stupidly in their cars not sure of what to do next. I got in a traffic jam on Arlington last year. Standstill. Perplexed, I pulled over and walked up to see what was going on. There were 10-12 turkeys standing in the middle of the street and an equal number of drivers sitting in their cars staring at them. I flapped my arms at the turkeys and they walked off the road and everyone started driving again. I frequently encounter them on Avenida and curiously, they always manage to get out of my way.
    They’re turkeys, not toddlers, people. DRIVE THROUGH THEM.

  • PainInTheDonkey

    Didn’t know bow hunting in the city is fair game. Good to know.

  • Ocelot Carter

    Drive through them? Gross. Gizzards galore! I am not running over any turkeys–the traffic can wait a couple minutes. Flapping the arms seems like a good suggestion, though.