Dry Weather Means More Turkeys

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STATELINE (WIFR) -- For the first time in nearly a decade, local biologists say the dry weather is causing more turkeys to roam our streets.

The birds are nothing new to the Rockford area, in fact they have been here for more than two decades. However, local biologists say just not this many.

"A good percentage of the turkeys that hatched are lost due to the weather but because it was so dry the turkeys survived,” says Poult with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Also, baby turkeys typically die from hypothermia in the spring after heavy rain, however the dry weather means more are surviving.

"They are a nuisance; they will run in front of your car when you are pulling out of your driveway,” says Rockford resident Tyler Edwards. While some are annoyed by their presence, others are embracing it, like one home-owner in the Spring Creek area who neighbors say, feeds the turkeys daily.

"Things you can do to minimize the nuisance aspects of them would be to not feed turkeys so they are not attracted to your area or squirt them with the hose if you need to keep them away." Biologists say no matter what we do to keep them away, we should expect more visitors this spring.

The Department of Natural Resources says they can issue permits to kill nuisance animals. However it is illegal to shoot turkeys, due to local ordinances.

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