A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Wild turkeys on parade in West Albany

Written July 12th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Three adults and a dozen chicks wander through a front yard at 11th and Takena Friday evening, entertaining Heather and Brandon Hill and their grandsons Ames and Abel.

Seeing wild turkeys is no longer all that unusual in Oregon cities, but it’s still a reason to come out of the house and watch, or to stop the car and take a picture.

The adults and chicks in this little flock made their way through the Takena Street neighborhood in west Albany on Friday night. They seemed to be just passing through and not causing anybody any grief.

But elsewhere, wild turkeys have caused consternation in residential areas in recent years. You can quickly find online reports of turkey trouble from Lebanon, Pilot Rock, Bandon, and Medford. People complained that the birds were munching the plants in backyard gardens and leaving piles of droppings. In some cases, ODFW was moved to issue hunting tags to the local police so they could try to reduce the size of the flocks.

You wouldn’t know it from the way they make themselves at home, but turkeys are not native to Oregon. They were introduced in two waves, in 1961 and 1975, to give hunters something to shoot — during designated seasons, of course, and never inside cities.

Last September, a couple of turkeys surprised me as I rode the bike through Eads Park in the east Willamette neighborhood. At the time the parks department told me of turkey reports from several other parks where the habitat suits them. Now they seem to have moved out of the parks and into areas where people live. (hh)

7 responses to “Wild turkeys on parade in West Albany”

  1. J.Jacobson says:

    The turkey diaspora to residential areas is as a direct result of the socialist housing legislation fobbed-off on all Oregonians by Kotek’s, Courtney and Brown in the recent activity at the State Capital.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      Is that a testable (falsifyable) hypothesis?

      I bet that most of the turkeys’ verminous presence can be attributed to the “bleeding heart” socialism of those who enable them – by deliberately or otherwise leaving food for them. Of course, it wasn’t socialists who were responsible for bringing the feathered swine here in the first place.

  2. Jim Engel says:

    Glad you included a picture lest I think the City Council was out for a group walk!

  3. Jeff Senders says:

    No joke, I have to wait 48 hours before I can mow the lawn after the wild turkeys pass by.

  4. Mandy Wilson says:

    We saw them Friday too, right by Takena park on 12th. Four of the little ones flew up to the roof of a house, then jumped down. Entertaining for us casual observers but they are messy birds.

  5. shawn says:

    we saw this group, or a reasonable facsimile, pass by our house on 5th and calapooia, on last thursday night, during river rhythms. lovely.

    please forgive capitalization, i am on an ipad.

  6. Christina Daub says:

    There was a turkey family hanging out in our backyard on 5th Ave! I took pictures! Wish I could share them on here, but it looks like I can’t :(


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