Alameda County is seeing an increase in problems associated with wild turkeys. Turkeys are social birds with flocks of varying sizes. Adult male turkeys weigh up to 25 pounds and females can weigh up to10 pounds. They are not territorial but do defend an area against other turkeys of the same sex. The social behavior between younger and older turkeys may lead homeowners to perceive turkeys as a nuisance. They may become very aggressive to the homeowner.

It was believed that turkeys cause a great deal of agricultural damage, but a closer review has shown that their effect was minimal. They are opportunistic feeders. In the spring and summer they feed on grass, seeds, berries, and insects. In the fall and winter they feed mainly on nuts, seeds, and grains. They prefer to live close to a wooded area and open landscape or crop fields, but are increasingly moving into suburban environments. Turkeys also look for roosting sites. These sites are usually in large trees. Because of their size and large accumulation of fecal droppings, significant damage to personal property, especially vehicles, can occur.

If a resident is experiencing problems with turkeys it is strongly recommended that they call the district so a Vector Control Biologist and Wildlife Specialist can investigate the nuisance wildlife issue. The District Team will determine what prevention and exclusion methods would be most successful in removing the turkeys from the property.

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