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Increased spottings of wild turkeys in Hilliard, Dublin areas

Experts at the Ohio Division of Natural Resources say the turkeys are nothing to be concerned about.

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

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

Why was the turkey crossing the road? No one knows.

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

According to ODNR, wild turkeys are native to Ohio and found nationwide. The turkeys can easily survive in urban areas and are accustomed to humans. 

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

If you are afraid of turkeys getting too close, ODNR suggests taking the following steps: 

  • Cause some sort of disturbance so that the turkeys feel uncomfortable there, causing them to move off. People can clap their hands, shout, and wave their arms. Banging objects together to make loud noises can also be very effective. The key to this is to be consistent. A person may have to scare off the turkeys several times before they move on to a new location.
  • In many cases, the turkeys are drawn to a certain area because there is an easy food source such as bird feeders. Residents should remove their bird feeders if they are experiencing issues with the turkeysRemoving 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 sorts of human food, as it lacks the necessary nutrition they need and can cause health issues. Residents should also not attempt to feed the turkeys from their hand.

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

They tend to group together in large flocks during the fall and winter. In the warmer months and breeding season, the turkeys will separate into smaller flocks or sometimes on their own. 

ODNR also encourages Ohioans to not capture or pet the turkeys.

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