Turkey sightings in Dublin, Hilliard

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Experts from the Ohio Division of Natural Resources say the turkeys aren’t a cause for concern.

HILLIARD, Ohio — Turkey sightings are becoming more common in central Ohio, and we’re not talking about the ones you get at the grocery store.

Viewers have sent photos and videos to 10TV of wild turkeys spotted in front yards, backyards and on the streets in Hilliard and Dublin.

Why did the turkey cross the road? Nobody knows.

While sightings of wild turkeys have increased, experts at the Ohio Division of Natural Resources say the turkeys are nothing to worry about.

According to ODNR, wild turkeys are native to Ohio and can be found statewide. The turkeys can easily survive in urban areas and are used to people.

According to ODNR, as of Thursday, there have been no reports of the turkeys showing aggression or behavior that would require them to be removed from the area.

If you’re concerned about turkeys getting too close, ODNR recommends the following steps:

  • Create some kind of disturbance to make the turkeys uncomfortable there, causing them to move away. People can clap their hands, shout and wave their arms. Banging objects against each other to make loud noises can also be very effective. The key to this is to be consistent. A person may have to scare the turkeys away several times before they move on to a new location.
  • In many cases, turkeys are drawn to a particular area because there is a simple food source such as birdhouses. Local residents should remove their birdhouses if they are having trouble with the turkeys. Removing bird feeders will not cause the turkeys to starve. They will find a new food source elsewhere, likely something more naturally occurring than a bird feeder. Residents should also not feed the turkeys bread or other types of human food, as they lack the necessary nutrition they need and can cause health problems. Residents should also not attempt to hand-feed the turkeys.

Some Ohioans have expressed concern that the number of turkeys in a flock has decreased. According to the ODNR, this is likely due to the natural behavior of turkeys.

They tend to group together in large flocks in the fall and winter. During the warmer months and breeding season, the turkeys divide into smaller flocks or sometimes alone.

ODNR also encourages Ohio residents not to catch or pet the turkeys.

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