Bedford Police Warn Residents About Aggressive Wild Turkeys

Submitted on behalf of the Bedford Police Department

BPDpatchChief Robert Bongiorno and the Bedford Police Department, along with Animal Control Officer Mike Leskouski, would like to provide the following safety tips to the community in light of several reports of aggressive wild turkeys in town.

Wild turkeys are social birds, they live in flocks, which are organized by a pecking order. If wild turkeys become habituated to humans, they may treat them as subordinates. In order to prevent birds from habituating, humans must be bold and show dominance to turkeys. This can be done by forcefully fending them off with brooms or other instruments that will not cause injury to yourself or the bird.

Everyone in a neighborhood must have the same attitude towards wild turkeys for the dominance strategy to be effective. Each and every turkey must view all humans as dominant in the pecking order, otherwise they will view only selected humans as superiors and others as subordinates. Once this behavior is established, it can be very difficult or impossible to change.

To prevent wild turkeys from habituating in your neighborhood, Bedford Police and Animal Control Officer Leskouski advise residents to follow several safety tips from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife:

  • Do not approach, feed, pet, or try to interact with wildlife, including turkeys, coyotes, or other wild animals.
  • Do not feed wild turkeys. Never deliberately feed wild turkeys to attract them to your property or to keep them around. Turkeys can survive very well on natural foods and do not need assistance from people.
  • Remove or secure all potential sources of food. Don’t tempt or attract wild turkeys by allowing them to feed on seeds that have spilled from your bird feeders.

Residents with questions or concerns regarding wild turkeys in Bedford should contact Animal Control Officer Leskouski at 781-275-1212.

And then there’s this iconic YouTube video

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