The Oregon Seal Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife  
 » ODFW Home    » ODFW News Releases
About Us Fishing Hunting Viewing License/Regs Conservation Living With Wildlife Education
News Releases

It's spring – time to talk turkey

March 19, 2024

SALEM, Ore – Today is the first day of spring, bringing with it the breeding season for many animals including Oregon's wild turkeys.

It's time to talk turkey – specifically, what you can do to prevent turkey problems in your own yard and neighborhood this spring, and all year long.

Most of the time, the problems begin with people deliberately (or sometimes accidentally) feeding turkeys. Trust us, these big birds are self-sufficient and find plenty of natural food year-round. When they feed naturally, they move on to forage in different spots which keeps flocks at a reasonable five to 20 birds. But when fed by people, turkeys are more likely to indefinitely stay in one area and are joined by more birds creating abnormally large flocks of over 100.

Now that it's the spring turkey breeding season, not only will you see male turkeys sparring over a hen, but you may also see your vehicle damaged. Male turkeys have fought their own reflection on vehicles. Dents are possible and "keying" your vehicle with their sharp nails and spurs is a given.

The bulbs gardens, and other landscaping you've been working so hard on can be efficiently destroyed by these large flocks. Your roof is a great place for turkeys to roost but can leave you with damaged shingles and gutters. Keeping your sidewalks, patios, and decks clean is a real challenge when so many of these birds leave their smelly calling cards each day (a possible snack or rolling opportunity for your canine companion.)

Abnormally large flocks are not good for turkeys either. There is more risk of spreading diseases among the turkeys including avian influenza and salmonella.

ODFW's new Living with Wild Turkeys brochure provides more information and tips on preventing these and other problems with wild turkeys. Tips include not intentionally feeding wild birds and discouraging your neighbors from feeding them too.

ODFW photos: Roosting turkeys can damage roofs and gutters leading to costly repairs.


Contact: Northwest: Beth Quillian, 503-947-6008,
Southwest: Meghan Dugan, 541-315-6629,
facebook twitter youtube rss feed


About Us | Fishing | Crabbing & Clamming | Big Game Hunting | Game Bird Hunting | Wildlife Viewing | License / Regs | Conservation | Living with Wildlife | Education | Workday Login

ODFW Home | Driving Directions | Employee Directory | Social Media | | File Formats | Employee Webmail | ODFW License Agents | Accessibility

4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE   ::   Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

Do you have a question or comment for ODFW? Contact ODFW's Public Service Representative at:
Share your opinion or comments on a Fish and Wildlife Commission issue at:
Do you need this information in an alternative format or language? Contact 503-947-6000 or click here.

   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 03/19/2024 4:00 PM