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Wild Turkeys: Are they taking over? Help me with this quick survey.

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 at 6:59 am in Survey, wild turkeys.

Wild turkeys on a Sunday stroll. Photo by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.
turkey walk1

Just about every day I get a call or e-mail from someone complaining about wild turkeys in their yard, on their roof, on top of their car, gobbling up their garden, blocking traffic on their way to work … the list of complaints is endless.

Can you please help me with this quick little survey so we can try and find out just how wide-ranging this wild turkey problem is?

A Male struts his stuff. Photo by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.
male turkey1

You don’t have to e-mail or mail me anything. Just add your comments/reply below to this blog.

If you see any wild turkeys in your neighborhood, or anywhere, please leave me the following information:

** 1. Nearest two cross streets and city (state?) where you saw the wild turkeys.

** 2. What were they doing?

** 3. How many wild turkeys did you see?

** 4. When did you see them (Approx. date, time).

** 5. Any other comments you want to add?

Wild turkey chicks. Photo by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.
turkey chix1

I’ll tally up the results of this little survey after a couple of weeks and present the results here in my blog. Thanks for the help. /Gary

Isn’t he handsome? Photo by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.
turkey head1

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39 Responses to “Wild Turkeys: Are they taking over? Help me with this quick survey.”

  1. Bob Carlton Says:

    ** 1. Nearest two cross streets and city (state?) where you saw the wild turkeys.
    Rossmoor (Walnut Creek) Leisure Lane & Stanley Dollar

    ** 2. What were they doing?

    ** 3. How many wild turkeys did you see?
    40 or 50

    ** 4. When did you see them (Approx. date, time).
    Most mornings

    ** 5. Any other comments you want to add?
    They are simply EVERYWHERE!

  2. Gayle Reece Says:

    In Walnut Creek on Cora Court (Cherry Lane neighborhood) I routinely see eight turkeys visiting the garden. They graze and feed and roost in the towering pine tree at night. I think they are beautiful. They are peaceful and fly easily over the canal and into the wilds of Heather Farm.

    I have also seen wild turkey on Miller Drive in Lafayette. A dozen of them routinely march through the neighborhood after coming down from the hills bordering Briones. Again, beautiful and majestic. No complaints.

  3. Lori Werner Says:

    1. Location: Hercules cross streets Falcon & Refugio Valley Road, also multiple sightings along Hercules/Pinole open space ridge line

    2. Activity: Foraging on hillsides & seeking water

    3. Number: Variable sized groupings, most recently 10 adult turkeys. The groupings are getting larger each of the last several years

    4. When: Intermittent sightings throughout year, saw group of ten a couple of weeks ago. This past spring, six adults seen traveling across hillside every day with 20-25 poults.

  4. Nancy Schick Says:

    nearest two cross streets—Sulivan Dr. and Arroyo Dr. in Moraga.
    looking for food , scratching in the leaves and roosting on roofs and in Pine trees.
    Number: six now. 20 in the spring.
    When: Most days–early morning and early evening.

  5. Diane Lanum Says:

    1. Madeiros Ave. in the Hayward hills in my backyard.

    2. Hanging out, some pecking at grass, others sitting, some on roof or on deck

    3. 10 – 15. Mostly females but sometimes males, too, spreading their tails when they see themselves in car bumpers.

    4. Sometimes we’ll see them nearly everyday, and then we won’t see them for a month.

    I wouldn’t call them a “problem”. They can make a bit of a mess, but we are endlessly fascinated by them and love to have them visit us.

  6. Debby Richman Says:

    Numerous sighting throughout Montclair Village, both east and west of highway 13.

    1. Numerous sighting throughout Montclair Village! Ironically blocking traffic on Shepherd Rd. Visiting the Estates area the next day, much farther away from the parks.

    2. Holding up traffic in the middle of Shepherd Canyon, big news for everyone trying to make their way around town! No real disruptions around Estates.

    3. Second hand reports, around a dozen or fewer…not full flocks here. But the Shepherd ones were much, much larger-sized than typical turkeys.

    4. Sightings were right before and after Thanksgiving, no joke!

    5. They are very aggressive these days, don’t even scurry out of the way.

  7. Kurt Nordquist Says:

    What problem? Its a blessing to have wildlife deer, squirrels wild turkeys, etc. you don’t like it go back to your urban high rise!

  8. Dean Waterbury Says:

    I’ve been in my San Ramon condo (next to San Ramon Regional Hospital) for 17 years now and we’ve had turkeys for at least the past 4-5 years. I’d guesstimate the herd (possibly two herds…) consists of about 35-50 birds. The complex backs up against an open space owned by Canyon Lakes, and my unit is on the border so I get the privilege of watching them all year long. Today, I found out that our Homeowners Association Board meeting, taking place this Tuesday 3/17/09, will discuss a “turkey remediation project.” Apparently the Board feels there is a problem as the turkeys do walk the complex leaving a bit of a mess here and there. If I attend, I’ll report on the Board’s intent on remediation. I’d assume that getting a depredation permit from DFG would require permission from the open space property owners – would this be correct???

  9. john f Says:

    one female wild turkey landed on out roof top at 5th & hearst in west berkeley. stayed there for awhile just looking around & then disappeared …….. must have flown away when I wasn’t looking.
    a real treat …….. thanks for visiting Miz turkey!

  10. Jen Says:

    I have had a wild turkey visiting my backyard on and off for about 2 months now. The first time I saw him he ran from me but then began showing up every day on our deck. He likes the heat of the sun and lays on the deck against our back sliding door. On rainy/snowy days, he lays under our bay window to stay dry. He was with us everyday for over a month and a half then disappeared for 4 days,(I was devastated!) then appeared for a day, then gone again. I hope he returns…he is soooo cute and very friendly. I nicknamed him “Boo Boo” and he will come to me whenever he is in the yard. At night he roosts on our gazebo or on the roof of the house. My cat has even come to accept him! What a treat to be able to see wildlife up close! Hurry back soon Boo Boo!

  11. Jen Says:

    I see all of you that responded are from California, I am living in Northwest Indiana, approximately 30 miles East of Chicago, IL.

  12. JOAN Says:

    Our neighborhood has many many turkeys – Vale Road in San Pablo – a more rural area than the rest of the city. I have about an acre and they are down my private road in the morning, in the patio in the afternoon and in summer roost some roost in the large Monterey Pine tree in the evening. They did up so many plants that my gardner puts in – we try to put bamboo around some. Also, had to put a fence in my large back area so I could have tomatoes and lettuce. Help!

  13. Pete Says:

    1. Location: Alhambra Hills Dr. and Alhambra Ave. in Martinez, CA; separate flock in the hills off Alhambra Ave. and Valley Glen Ln.

    2. What were they doing?
    Usually searching for food. Hot days they sometimes gather in the shade of the oak trees on my property.

    3. How many wild turkeys did you see?
    Each flock has 10-20 birds. A good number are this year’s chicks, and I’ve watched them grow from a few inches tall to nearly full grown since spring.
    4. When did you see them (Approx. date, time).
    I see both flocks regularly in the mornings and late afternoons. I’ve also seen them feeding mid-day.

    5. Any other comments you want to add?
    I first started seeing them over here about 3 years ago. Now it’s almost a daily occurrence.

  14. Sara Says:

    1. Hercules, CA, pretty much all over, but today I saw a huge number of birds on Olympus (part of Olympian Hill condo community off San Pablo Ave/Hercules Ave)

    2. They were gobbling something in the grass, but mostly just moving along the grassy areas between the condos and in front of garages. Later they headed off the road and toward the pool and larger grassy areas.

    3. About 18, possibly slightly more.

    4. 10/15/09 shortly before 4pm.

    5. They’re just all over, and are seen almost daily. I haven’t heard people complaining about them, honestly. They don’t do any harm. People take pictures of them and seem to enjoy them. They’ve been around for a few years but now the numbers seem to be going up. Sightings definitely used to be rarer. I remember hearing turkey stories and being somewhat disbelieving, but now it’s just a fact of life.

  15. Roger Says:

    The wild turkeys are not longer ‘cute’ – they wake up the neighborhood early, eat our plantings scare our kittens, etc.

    I was on a board in San Diego for a gated community that had trouble with the mess Coots were leaving. I suggested we shoot them – I grew up on a farm and that seemed a humane thing to do. People were aghast – they tried pepper, moving wind contraptions. etc. Nothing worked. Years later I heard the board finally created a “Coot Shoot” Saturday – it worked!

    I think with all the hungry people in the area, we could cut this flock of 15 turkeys down to zip and feed the poor. If people want turkeys, raise them as pets.


  16. Kim in Martinez CA Says:

    Live on Viewpoint Court Martinez CA, for a few years the flock comes and goes, recently came back a few days ago — they roam in the morning time only. They just eat insects and grass, no warm no foul. I love seeing them. My Weimaraner loves watching them too (glad she can not get to them with my fenced yard)!
    The townhome I live in backs up to open space.

  17. Afton Says:

    1. Suntree Lane in Pleasant Hill, CA.

    2. There was a group of 20 turkeys! They were wandering up a hill, in a grassy tree lined area behind a driveway.

    3. There were 20! We were astounded by the volume so we stopped to count. More turkeys than I have ever seen.

    4. 3/2/10 at 2:30pm

  18. Cathy Says:

    ** 1.. Daffodil Dr. and W. Leland, Pittsburg, Ca.

    ** 2. Hanging out in my front yard looking for food in the grass.

    ** 3. 5 Females

    ** 4. 3/8/10 7:30 am

    ** 5. Watched them for about 15 minutes and took some pics on my phone, then went off to work, which seemed to startle them and made them wander off down the road. What a wonderful sight to start my day with. :)

  19. Mabel Says:

    A lone wild turkey was pacing in the crosswalk on Taylor at Withers in Lafayette two days ago at around 5pm. I didn’t see feathers in the street yesterday, so I assume she made it safely across…

  20. Sally Says:

    Shepherd Canyon Road at Moore Drive Oakland CA

    A lone turkey was sitting on top of our car in the driveway 3/23/10 about 3:00pm. We spotted it again
    Wednesday night in the driveway about 7:30 pm as it paused and then walked on up Shepherd Canyon Road.

  21. Najasila Says:


    A Colorado girl moves to California to find wild turkeys. GREAT STORY LINE! HA!

    ** 1. Nearest two cross streets and city (state?) where you saw the wild turkeys.

    Walnut Creek, CA; Via Monte and Ygnacio Valley

    ** 2. What were they doing?

    Trying to mate with the police officers bike (

    ** 3. How many wild turkeys did you see?


    ** 4. When did you see them (Approx. date, time).

    5/6, 830 a.m.

    ** 5. Any other comments you want to add?

    TOO CUTE!!! Made getting a traffic ticket all right.

  22. Stephen Says:

    There are thousands of Turkey’s here in the foothills… El Dorado Hills A real hassle!

  23. Barbara Says:

    ** 1. Nearest two cross streets and city (state?) where you saw the wild turkeys.

    Shannon Hills / Martinez

    ** 2. What were they doing?

    Pecking at grass for things in our back yards. Forget the fact that it is nothing but open space behind us.

    ** 3. How many wild turkeys did you see?

    Stopped counting between 25 – 30. Several hens and lots of chicks.

    ** 4. When did you see them (Approx. date, time).

    Memorial Day (of course …). Late afternoon.

    ** 5. Any other comments you want to add?

    What would have been fantastic would be if the contacted, and supposed, experts familiar with this had taken a moment or two to respond — and, especially, to advise those of us unfamiliar with this.

    The wild turkeys have learned, for the most part, not to associate my back yard with Happy Hour … for now.

  24. diane Says:

    One female adult on Albany hill…wandering around.
    Acted like it owned the place!

  25. Karen Brown Says:

    Nearest two cross streets and city (state?) where you saw the wild turkeys.

    Hercules Ave and San Pablo, California

    What were they doing?

    Walking around the foliage and foraging

    How many wild turkeys did you see?

    15 or 20 hens, no tom turkeys who really are very diligently protective of their lady turkeys!

    When did you see them (Approx. date, time).

    09/03/10 @ 9 am

    Any other comments you want to add?

    I love when the turkeys visit! When they are seen running we need to respect them because not only do they resemble a prehistoric bird, they are direct decedents of the prehistoric beasts, and are from the same family as the Tyrannosaurs Rex! So, not only do they resemble a prehistoric era, they quite literaly are! I’m happy when they visit.

  26. Susan Andres Says:

    Nearest two cross streets and city (state?) where you saw the wild turkeys.

    Evelyn Avenue and Gilman, Berkeley CA

    What were they doing?

    Walking down the sidewalk

    How many wild turkeys did you see?

    3 what appear to be young birds (born in the Spring?)

    When did you see them (Approx. date, time).

    09/28/10 @ 5:30p

    Any other comments you want to add?

    Caused quite a stir. They ended up on the roofs because of all the noice by people.

  27. alison Says:

    Albany: Marin Ave
    Crossing the street in front of the library
    THis morning around 7:30 AM

  28. Baby GaGa Says:

    1. Nearest two cross streets and city (state?) where you saw the wild turkeys. Donal & Scott in El Cerrito,Ca.

    ** 2. What were they doing? Being Turkeys

    ** 3. How many wild turkeys did you see? 9

    ** 4. When did you see them (Approx. date, time).11/8/10@ approx. 9AM & 5PM

    ** 5. Any other comments you want to add?
    I think it’s awesome. <<<<<Cool story bro

  29. Maryann Says:

    1. Living in Sunrise Ridge subdivision in Martinez for 6 months now.

    2. Eating, pooping (everywhere) flying on rooftops – I guess doing what birds do

    3. Started with 18 and now up to 37!

    4. 6am they fly down from the trees onto rooftops. They roam the hills and can be spotted later in the day from about 2pm on until 5pm when they fly back to the same grove of trees to roost for the night.

    5. What was cute is now completely annoying – they sit on your cars and scratch them up, they thump on the roof all morning and with the amount of poop they are creating it would be a health hazard if all of the neighbors weren’t constantly cleaning the roosting area – help!!!

  30. Maryann Says:

    Please remove first comment – left off city – thanks!

  31. nancy Says:

    Fairfield…backs onto Paradise Valley Golf Course..
    they jump over fence into my back yard to
    eat olives/roses/grass/almost all plants..

    20 to 30 of them..3 toms, the rest hens..
    started two weeks ago..8am and back at
    around 4pm..

    leaving huge messes of poop..
    nothing deters them except…
    turning on automatic sprinkler systems..
    they reluctantly fly away…

  32. mia singer Says:

    Mia says, Turkeys are all over now, where none were before. Thanks to fish and game who imported them for hunting and now the problem has gotten out of control in their non-native habitat (heard they were hybrids) I have a few acres, had no turkeys ever and started with 2 about 5 years ago. Every year there are about 13 new chicks and now there are about 40 to 50 roaming the neighborhood and foraging. Because the land cannot support this many turkeys for food they are getting more agressive and desperate.They are digging up my property and plants all the time. They ate all the little frogs and who knows what other species to their exstinction. They are rather heavey 20 to 30 pounds and destroy the trees by sleeping in them. They fly short distances so they sit on the house or car or garden furniture and shit all over. All you animal lovers cant see a problem when man fools around with nature and things get out of control. This is only the beginning of a huge problem only 5 years old. With a permit from fish and game I was allowed to kill 6 turkeys, very hard to do with a bibi gun, got only two but they are now scared when they see me so I have to chase them away on a daily basis. Some fool in the neighborhood is feeding them giving them mixed messages. They cat is out of the bag, with no predators they will keep multiplying and damage the balance of the ecosystem thanks to fish and game importing these monsters.

  33. Ruby Says:

    ** 1. On my roof on Kulani Lane, Pleasant Hill, CA
    near Devon Ave and Banbridge Place

    ** 2. Just sitting on the highest peak of my roof

    ** 3. 6 of them, one of which was a large male

    ** 4. Last Saturday (3/26/11) around 1PM

  34. sandra Says:

    Rose crest and Brentwood. 1wild turkey in my yard…Oakland, ca.

  35. Chris Says:

    In Flint Township, Michigan. I am in a small subdivision off Miami Beach Dr. Off of Lennon near Linden Rd. Originally had about 6 females with a very large male last fall just grazing. They all disappeared through winter and in spring I saw them all again but after about two months into spring I begin only seeing two older females. Then in about the end of August begin seeing more females again. In total saw 7 but now they are down to six and still no male. Looks to be two older females and 4 young turkeys. My house backs onto a little spread of woods and they come here to graze. They graze their way in then graze their way out. Also they have discovered where my birdseed falls out of my feeder so that is one of their favorite spots this fall lol. Thinking the male may have been poached, have called the police a number of times due to shooting back in the woods. I am by no means out in the country. Why do the squirrels love following the turkeys around? Can find no info on the subject.

  36. Dorothy Says:

    On Scout Road 1/2 way between Montara Jr High and Mountain Blvd, around 2 pm. There were two of them walking down the road. About a month ago there were 3 of them. the larger one was attacking cars as “tried” to drive down the road.

    There was also a small fox wandering around by the school, did not seem to be that afraid of people or cars. Took off down to creek below the school.

  37. Tjones Says:

    I live in Hercules ca and they are everywhere. Ive seen groups of 20 and ive seen small groups of 4. Very strange and every year we are seeing more and more. I was walking to my garage the other morning and had to go back inside the house because there were to many…Mostly in the early afternoon.

  38. Li Says:

    It’s very hard to find articles on the turkeys that have been invading the Bay Area. I lived in the East Bay, Pinole, El Cerrito, Richmond, Albany area for well over 15 years and I can tell you that these turkeys are recent phenomenon. I think they first arrived here, or when I first noticed them, around 2007 or 2008. Ever since then, I always see them! My hypothesis is that someone, likely a farmer or breeder, managed to let a couple of those turkeys free and they have managed to reproduced successfully in the city.

    I see them in groups of around 7 or more around my neighborhood which is next to Pinole, they are more often seen roaming around in suburbs where the streets are more calm and there is not a lot of people and there are plenty of parks and regional areas where they can hide out. You don’t see them on busy main roads where there is always heavy car and pedestrian traffic. For this reason, I think that’s why they are only in the East Bay and not in somewhere like San Francisco, because it’s way to busy there. I don’t know about southern Bay Area like San Jose.

  39. Brett abril Says:

    There was a large male turkey across the street in my neighbors yard on school st in pittsburg ca

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