Wild Turkey Information
Wild turkeys usually live in wooded areas, but they will enter residential neighborhoods occasionally, especially if they find easy access to food sources. If habituated, the birds may identify residential areas as sources of food and view humans as part of their pecking order, increasing the likelihood they will attempt to intimidate people they encounter.
You can discourage them your property by:
- Removing things that attract them
- Driving off aggressive turkeys using methods that scare but do not harm turkeys
Please note, because wild turkeys are protected by the Illinois Wildlife Code, it is illegal to kill or remove wild turkeys or to destroy their nests or eggs without specific permits and licenses.
How to Deter Wild Turkeys
- Do not feed wild turkeys. Both direct and indirect feeding can reduce the animals’ fear of people, making them more likely to return to residential areas. Wild turkeys can survive well on natural food sources and don’t need food from people.
- Do not let turkeys intimidate you. Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten an aggressive turkey with loud noises, swatting with a broom, water sprayed from a hose, or opening and closing an umbrella.
- Cover problem windows and shiny objects. Turkeys may respond aggressively to their reflection or shiny objects. If a window or object frequently attracts wild turkeys, covering or disguising the object can address the issue.
- Protect your garden and crops. Polypropylene bird netting can be an effective way to protect garden plants. Strategically placed reflective tape, predator decoys, or mylar ribbons can also deter turkeys.
- Keep bird feeder areas clean or remove feeders if necessary. Spilled seed from bird feeders can attract wild turkeys.
Wild Turkey Sightings
You can report sightings of wild turkeys at eBird, a global data source for scientific research, education, and conservation. The City of Wheaton is not affiliated with eBird.