Wild Turkeys Are Taking Over a California City Just in Time for Thanksgiving

Wild Turkeys Are Taking Over a California City Just in Time for Thanksgiving (Ilana DeBare / Golden Gate Audubon Society)

San Francisco Bay Area residents, this is your warning: the turkeys are coming.

Or, if you live in the Oakland area, they've already arrived.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the introduced poultry is rearing its fleshy bald head...perhaps in larger numbers than ever.

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The non-native species has been introduced to the Golden State on multiple occassions. They were released by Fish and Wildlife in California over a number of years, starting about 1959, Bob Lewis of the Golden Gate Audubon Society told CityLab.

After the California Dept. of Fish & Game sponsored widespread introductions in the 1960s and 1970s, the birds really started to get a foothold.

Around Oakland alone, the Audubon society found 131 turkeys during a count last year.

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So, while non-native, the turkey is right at home in California. But Northern Californians may not feel right at home around the turkeys.

Like in the Boston area, the wild turkey population is becoming unafraid of humans.

It is not uncommon for the birds to display aggressive behavior toward, and at times even chase down, people.

They also have an apparent fondness for using cars as perches when no trees can be found, to which endless photos on social media--taken by residents who simply can't believe what they're seeing--can easily attest.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, turkeys can be most aggressive during mating season.

The department suggests using an open umbrella to fend off the birds and discourages anyone from feeding them over fears it could make them more comfortable around humans than they already are.

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