Turkey Damage Identification

Identification | Biology | Damage ID | Management | Resources

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 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. Though rare, some have complained of turkeys “attacking” them when they came too close to a turkey.  

Damage to Structures 

Turkeys are not known to damage structures. However, structures chosen as roosting sites will sustain fouling from excrement (Figure 5).  

Figure 5. A wild turkey 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.  

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 and they will attack humans who get too close.