Turkey Damage Identification

Identification | Biology | Damage ID | Management | Handling

Damage to Structures 

Turkeys are not known to damage structures. However, structures used as roosting sites will be fouled with excrement.  

Wild turkeys on a roof in the middle of a medium-sized city.
Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel. 

Damage to Plants, Lawns, and Livestock 

Turkeys may be responsible for minor damage to plants as they scratch and forage for food.  In vineyards, wild turkeys tend to pluck several grapes from the same part of a grape cluster, whereas other birds tend to just puncture grapes or will take only individual grapes before moving on to another cluster. Damage also tends to be on the perimeter of the vineyard rather than the interior. 

Turkeys roosting in trees can foul the area below with excrement. Their vocalizations also can be disturbing to nearby residents. On occasion, turkeys have pecked vehicles, causing damage to paint and even breaking sideview mirrors. During winter, turkeys may be attracted to bird feeders and can rapidly reduce the food supply.

Health and Safety Concerns

Wild turkeys are not considered to be threats to human health and safety. Their presence near airports and highways poses the risk of bird strikes. Turkeys can be aggressive at times, such as during breeding season, and females will protect their young. They may attack humans, pets, and other large birds that get too close.