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Turkey Troubles In Davis: Feeding Isn’t For These Birds

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Tony Lopez Tony Lopez
Tony comes to Sacramento from the CBS station in Denver, Colorado,...
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DAVIS (CBS13) – More than 100 turkeys have made two areas of Davis their permanent home, and it’s causing one big mess for some residents.

“These are just relaxing,” city wildlife specialist John McNerney said. “Their bellies are full.”

There’s a reason these turkeys’ tummies are full. It’s not too hard for them to find some food.

“Lots of people enjoy having the turkeys come visit them in their backyards, so they’ll put the food out there for them,” McNerney said.

Elizabeth Elton does it every day, leaving turkey treats in her Davis yard for some of her favorite big birds.

“And I just kind of put quite a bit under my bird feeder and she comes and eats it,” she said. “And people say, ‘Well, don’t feed them,’ but what can you do? They’re hungry.”

No, they’re not, say turkey experts. These feathered friends have plenty of natural food around, and when they stick around, like they have in at the Rancho Yolo Senior Community, it can get pretty ugly.

“You gotta just be careful where you walk and how you step,” one resident said.

Yes, the No. 1 problem with the turkeys is actually No. 2.

“You gotta watch the poop, that’s for sure,” another said. “It’s really nasty.”

The birds have raised such a stink, the city of Davis is now asking residents to stop giving them grub.

“Certainly feeding the wildlife is something we don’t encourage,” McNerney said.

City officials are also asking residents not to leave dog or cat food outside.

And even though Elizabeth says “I don’t have a problem with them,” she might if they get aggressive as male turkeys can become around mating season, which is just beginning.

So what happens if people don’t stop feeding these birds? If people don’t stop feeding them, one option is to trap them, something that’s much easier said than done.

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