Turkey sightings lead to police request

Turkey in Grand Chute yard, April 20, 2017 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

APPLETON, Wis. (WLUK) -- Depending on where you are, you may see wild turkey roaming on a regular basis.

But for others, it may not be so common.

And because of that, the Appleton Police Department says people are actually calling authorities to report the sightings, which they say, you don't need to do.

In a matter of hours, about 10 calls flooded the Appleton Police Department Wednesday about a suspicious bird.

"Essentially just reports that the turkey was doing turkey-like activities. Roosting in trees, walking around in a yard," said Sgt. Dave Lund, Appleton Police Department.

Lund says the turkey was seen downtown near Memorial Drive and 6th Street. Melanie Worden lives a block away.

"There, there he is. I don't know if you can see him," said Melanie Worden, Appleton.

Worden's husband Mike recently took a picture of a turkey in their backyard.

"It's exciting. It's always exciting to see wildlife in the backyard," she said.

Just down the road in Grand Chute, Jessica Raddatz says she doesn't mind the big birds.

"There's probably a group of 10-15 that wander the neighborhood. I was standing in my kitchen, and saw a turkey right over here from my patio door. And he was all puffed up, took a picture of him," Raddatz said.

The Department of Natural Resources says the wild turkey nesting season is at its peak, and sightings are common, especially in the city.

"Because they're finding habitat that's available for them. They're finding safe places to live, so they're moving into the urban areas, and finding parks and wooded areas to survive," said Bryan Woodbury, DNR Wildlife Biologist.

Woodbury says he has received no turkey-related nuisance complaints. Appleton Police are asking people to enjoy the wildlife,

"It was kind of one of those almost in-jest type tweets, to let people know, yes, we're aware that there's turkeys in the City of Appleton," said Lund.

And if you have a phone, take a picture.

"Put it on your own social media but we really don't need to get a call about that," he said.

The DNR says as recently as the 1970s, there were no wild turkeys in the state.

A reintroduction program has put the population to the point where turkey hunting harvest totals are some of the highest in the nation.

Viewers have shared some photos of wild turkeys with us. Have you seen any? Send us your photos and videos by clicking the "Add Media" button below:

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