Massachusetts Needs Help Conducting a Wild Turkey Census
If you see something, say something.
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is doing a head count of all of the wild turkeys in Massachusetts and is seeking the public's help with the tabulating.
It's the Wild Brood Survey and one of those annual things I am only learning about now. Who knew?
I recently wrote an article explaining the explosion in the Massachusetts wild turkey population and how until the mid-1970s, there were too few turkeys other than those on Beacon Hill to really notice. That changed when the foul and often mean-spirited turkeys were re-introduced to the Bay State after being driven to near extinction here.
MassWildlife has a link on its webpage and is asking state residents who observe hens (female turkeys), poults (newly-hatched turkeys), jakes (juvenile males), and toms (adult males) to report their sightings.
Now if you think you might have trouble distinguishing between a male and a female turkey, I'm right there with you, so MassWildlife has another link to help you tell them apart. Be careful not to ruffle some feathers.
MassWildlife says citizen participation in this little turkey census "helps our biologists determine productivity, compare long-term reproductive success, and estimate fall harvest potential."
MassWildlife will be collecting wild turkey sighting reports through August 31, 2022. If you cannot access their online reporting page, you can print out a reporting form and mail it in.
Massachusetts has a wild turkey population of 30,000 to 35,000 birds that thrive throughout the Commonwealth. By day, the turkeys can be found almost anywhere, including the larger cities. By night, they hide out from predators in large, tall trees.
Watching those awkward birds get into those trees can be entertaining.