Wild Turkeys Spotted in Moorestown Neighborhood
A mother hen and several poults (young turkeys) have been seen wandering around East Second Street recently.
A family of wild turkeys have been spotted roaming around neighborhoods in the eastern end of town recently.
Resident John Khanlian said a mother hen and her young poults have been seen wandering around along East Second Street, near North Stanwick Road, and along Poplar Street the last couple weeks.
Khanlian said the sightings have been primarily in the early morning and early evening, “but it could be that they're around during the day too but no one is around to see them.”
A pair of photos submitted by Khanlian show a hen with up to six poults walking through residential yards and another taken by one of his neighbors shows the turkeys strolling down the middle of Poplar Street.
He assumed the turkeys were all of the same family, but couldn't be sure.
In 1977, biologists in cooperation with the New Jersey Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, reintroduced 22 wild turkeys into the Pine Barrens region.
There is now an abundance of wild turkeys in New Jersey—somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000-23,000.
In the last year-plus, Palmyra Cove Nature Park has had between 40 and 50 turkeys taking up residence in the woodlands, said Ed Sanderson, director of education at the park.
The increase of the wild turkey population is filling an ecological need in the New Jersey environment, said Mike Anderson, director of the Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary in Bernardsville, Somerset County.
“The eggs are eaten by raccoons and foxes,” Anderson said. “And, a lot of animals eat the poults—the chicks—who leave the grassy nests almost immediately. It’s all part of the food chain.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last week that the Hainesport Township Council imposed a ban on feeding wild turkeys there after receiving reports of turkeys attacking joggers.
"It's never a good idea to feed wildlife," Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, told the Inquirer. The animals then lose their natural fear of people and their ability to find their own food and may become a nuisance.
So far, there’ve been no reports of wild turkeys attacking Moorestown joggers.