Nfld. & Labrador

Wild turkeys appearing in Codroy Valley

Dozens of wild turkeys have been appearing in Newfoundland's Codroy Valley, causing people to wonder how the birds, not native to the island, became established.

Dozens of wild turkeys have been appearing in Newfoundland's Codroy Valley, causing people to wonder how the birds, not native to the island, became established.

In the spring, two wild turkeys showed up on Donald MacPherson's lawn in Millville, in the valley on Newfoundland's west coast.

MacPherson said the birds' behaviour surprised him, even though he grew up around domesticated turkeys.

"I looked out there one day and there's one 20 feet up in the tree there," MacPherson said. "You'd never believe that something that size could jump up like that but they can. Then they'll walk along a tree and hop from branch to branch, and climb it like a ladder, I guess."

The wild turkeys people have reported seeing in the valley are described as about four to seven kilograms and resemble domestic turkeys except for their colour. The wild turkeys are a dark brown or black, with no red in their plumage.

One person reported more a half-dozen birds holding up cars on a highway recently, while they crossed the road.

Edward Ryan, a retired farmer in the valley, said this is the second year he's seen them in the area.

"About this time last year we had about 57 here in the fields," Ryan said. "They were just picking around. A lot of corn planted around, and they were in the corn fields. They are hard to contain."

Ryan said he believes the wild turkeys are descendants from a group of domestic turkeys set loose by a farmer in the region about 10 years ago.