Curated by Liz Williams
Although always an odd sight, it’s not uncommon to see wild turkeys roaming around Harvard Square. According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, wild turkeys were found across all parts of the state when Colonial settlers first arrived. But by 1851, the turkey population fell to such low numbers that they were believed to have disappeared entirely. In 1972, MassWildlife caught 37 turkeys in New York State and re-released them in Berkshire County, and in 1978 officials caught some of the re-established rafter and brought them to 10 other counties in the state. Today, 18-20,000 wild turkeys are believed to be living in most of Massachusetts except for Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Suffolk counties.
Wild turkeys are a particular nuisance in Brookline and Newton. Meetings have been held in both towns to discuss issues associated with the turkeys, including instances of the fowl violently attacking people, destroying property, and disrupting traffic. Earlier this year, Brookline Police distributed a list of tips to help homeowners deal with the turkeys.