Wild Turkey Population Increase Leads To Damaged Cars, Roof Tiles In The Sacramento Area

FOLSOM, Calif. (CBS13) — The Lexington Hills neighborhood of Folsom hasn’t quite been the same since wild turkeys started taking over. Homeowners say the birds have been damaging property in the area.

“It’s awful, I love the turkeys. I think that it’s a great part of Folsom but now they’re causing havoc,” said Genna Mirmak, who lives in the neighborhood.

She told CBS13 the birds are usually harmless, poking around the lawn and looking for food. But on Thursday night, they cracked chunks of tile on her roof.

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“I’ve been here for seven years…and never saw them on the cars or doing any kind of destructive damage until now,” Mirmak said. “I think it’s because we had two groups that joined together and now it’s 25 turkeys in one group!”

She’s even caught them sliding down the front windshield of the cars in her driveway. Now one of the cars has scratches all over the hood. Another is so damaged it needs a new paint job.

“I called the insurance and it’s considered an act of nature, so it’s not covered,” she said.

“If they are in a suburban setting like this, there’s either too many of them, or they’re being pushed out of their habitat,” said Thomas Humble, who lives around the corner from Mirmak.

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It’s unclear why the birds gather in certain areas but they like having access to human food, vegetable gardens, and bird feeders, said Kyle Orr, a spokesperson for the California Fish and Wildlife Department.

If you have persistent turkeys, you can remove the food they are attracted to from outside, use motion-sensing sprinklers to make the turkeys disperse, and, if the problem persists, apply for a depredation permit, which would allow you to have the turkeys killed. But you’d still have to comply with local laws regarding firearms and weapons.

In Mirmak’s opinion, the neighborhood’s best option is to hire someone to gather the birds and trap them.

“I don’t want to hurt the turkeys or kill the turkeys,” she said. “I would just like to relocate them down by the river.”

Orr said turkeys do tend to lose their fear of humans, but they do not present a public safety issue.

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