What motivates turkeys to wander the streets of Concord?



What motivates turkeys to wander the streets of Concord?

DEAR JOAN: Recently turkeys have been seen around the roads in the residential areas. What are they doing here?

Shirley Sprague, Concord

DEAR SHIRLEY: You don’t suppose they’re looking for an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner, do you?

Let’s start with why there are turkeys here in the first place. They aren’t native to California, although a species once thought to be more peacock than turkey, Meleagris californica, did live in Southern California around 12,000 years ago. The species went extinct, perhaps because extended drought reduced the amount of vegetation they needed to thrive.

The first turkeys arrived in California in the 1870s, coming with settlers who brought a variety of livestock. In the 1900s, the California Fish and Game Commission began importing turkeys for a recreational hunting program. The birds they brought in, however, were farm-raised domestic breeds that were mostly clueless about how to survive on their own. In the 1950s, the commission began importing wild turkeys that actually knew a thing or two. Now, there are at least 250,000 of them throughout the state.

Turkeys, despite an undeserved reputation of being dumb, are quite smart, and they’ve learned that developed areas provide them with the things all living beings need — food, water and a place to roost.

The turkeys breed in the spring, and the males then go off to do tom turkey things while the females raise their broods. The young turkeys, called poults, stay with their mothers until they are old enough to breed — around 7 months for males and up to 2 years for females.

For companionship and help in caring for their young, the females will often form flocks. At this time of the year, what you’re likely seeing is an all hen-flock, with immature male and female poults.

Although it’s not migration as we typically thinking of it — the turkeys don’t fly south for the winter — they do move throughout the Bay Area, usually in search of food, water and safe lodging.

DEAR JOAN: I have a bird bath in my yard that seems impossible to keep the algae out of. Do you have any suggestions as to how to clean it?

Chickie, San Jose

DEAR CHICKIE: You have a number of options, starting with the placement of the bath.

Choose a shady spot, away from trees and hanging plants. Regularly changing the water will help, too. Empty the bath, scrub the basin with a weak solution of water and vinegar, rinse well and set it in the sun to dry before refilling.


Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/11/21/what-motivates-turkeys-to-wander-the-streets-of-concord/

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