|Photo from National Wild Turkey Federation|
"It’s almost miraculous that the wild turkey didn’t join the unfortunate ranks of such extinct birds as the passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet," writes Bryan Stevens in his "For the Birds" column in the Bristol Herald Courier. "Habitat destruction and a merciless commercial slaughter almost claimed the wild turkey, another uniquely American bird. Ironically, the wild turkey’s valued status as a game bird helped persuade many Americans to fight for its conservation. It’s an effort that succeeded admirably. Today, there are about seven million wild turkeys roaming North America."
Stevens adds, "Interest in the wild turkey as a game bird even inspired the establishment of the National Wild Turkey Federation, which is a national nonprofit organization that serves as a leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America." Stevens also offers many biological details about the turkey, and the old story about Benjamin Franklin saying it should have been made the national symbol, adding that George Washington agreed with Franklin.
The turkey's comeback is ruffling feathers in some suburbs, Michael Rosemwald writes for The Washington Post. "The soaring population has been a godsend for hunters, who are killing record numbers of wild turkeys, even in mostly suburban counties like Montgomery," in Maryland. "But their resurgence is not without drama. Sometimes small delegations of wild turkeys wander into residential neighborhoods on failed exploratory missions for good grub or companionship. For people unaccustomed to seeing turkeys, their appearances are entertaining and occasionally unnerving."
Rosenwald's story begins with an account of a turkey attack on members of a church in Frederick, Md., which led to production of a Destination America show, "When Turkeys Attack," scheduled to premiere at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday. Meanwhile, here's a Post video of wild turkeys in action: