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Posted: November 28, 2021

Be careful not to feed wild turkeys

Did you know that wild turkeys are agile fliers and roost in trees overnight to stay safe from ground-dwelling predators?

This behaviour can damage the trees, since turkeys will strip off smaller branches and peel away bark from their new roosts. When this occurs in human communities, property owners are faced with significant costs to protect, restore, or remove the damaged trees.

One of the main reasons we see wild turkeys in town and roosting in our backyard trees is because of direct or indirect feeding of the turkeys. Bird feeders are the biggest culprit – attracting not only wild turkeys, but deer, squirrels, and bears as well.

To have a WildSafe yard, you must always clean up bird seed that has spilled onto the ground. Better yet, remove your bird feeders altogether until mid-winter when it is very cold with heavy snow, and most wild animals are in hibernation.

Giving feed directly to wild turkeys is strongly discouraged, since this causes habituation and dependence on human food sources. Increased access to unnatural food sources can also cause turkey populations to increase, which leads to more susceptibility to disease, more fecal matter and property damage within communities, and ultimately more stress for the turkeys due to intraspecific competition.

Wild turkeys have been able to survive for hundreds of years in the wild without human interference, and there is enough wild food to be found outside our communities to support their survival and maintain natural population levels.

Please, do not feed turkeys or any wild animal. Help keep them wild.

e-KNOW file photos

WildSafeBC Columbia Valley


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