Attention Z, "turkies" invade Chicago : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

Chicago Tribune March 8, 2002


Wild turkeys raising a ruckus Buffalo Grove residents want birds relocated

By John Keilman and Tom McCann

The intruder came before dawn Tuesday, waking the Horwitz household with a loud cackle. When Jeff Horwitz flung open his front door, he locked eyes with one of the prowlers who has Buffalo Grove residents aflutter.

It was a 3-foot-tall turkey.

"We both kind of looked at each other," Horwitz said Thursday. "If you read something into it, like it was a cartoon--it was like he was saying, `Can I come in?' "

In the last two weeks, turkeys have been sighted scurrying across Buffalo Grove streets, loitering on lawns and haunting front porches. Police say as many as nine birds have been traveling solo or in small flocks, apparently seeking soft-hearted homeowners.

"What these birds have been doing is tapping or knocking on doors, on windows," said Sgt. Scott Kristiansen. "They're trying to get people to come out there and feed them. ... So far they've been a nuisance, but they haven't yet run afoul of the law."

This is not normal behavior for wild birds, said Scott Garrow, a wildlife biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He believes they are game turkeys that were raised in captivity and released.

"You can't tell the difference by just looking at them, but their behavior gives them away. They are really rather stupid," Garrow said. "Wild turkeys don't hang out in back yards or stand around looking for handouts like these do. You'd be lucky to even catch a glimpse of a wild turkey."

Garrow said customers often buy game birds from breeders to stock local game preserves or to serve as pets on farms. But occasionally people have released the turkeys into state parks after growing tired of them; several years ago, a dozen turkeys were set free at the Morton Arboretum, Garrow said.

"Some misguided individuals released them, even though they probably didn't realize it was illegal," Garrow said. "You can't just let them fly off into the wild. They'd be dead meat."

The bird on Horwitz's street may be a little more clever. It spent several days at Gina Sheade's house, relaxing on the deck and roosting in a tree. Tuesday night, Sheade said, three squad cars and a police van closed in on the scene. Out came six officers, she said, bent on snaring the bird in a blanket.

But the turkey outran the officers. After about a half-hour of tomfoolery, it flew into a tree for the night, Sheade said.

Late Thursday, police said they would call in a trapper the next time they come across one of the birds.

But the turkeys may be living on borrowed time. Garrow said such game birds have nasty, brutish and short lives in the wild. If coyotes are around, as they are in Buffalo Grove, the birds probably will soon become targets.

There's little chance the birds will stay in the village, Garrow said, because they rarely breed and are unable to establish flocks. He is worried that game turkeys could spread diseases to the area's wild turkey population, which the DNR has tried to re-establish in Illinois.

The bird that hung out with Horwitz and Sheade disappeared Wednesday morning, but Sheade hopes it will resurface and be sent to a safe home. While she and her family got a kick out of the turkey, its messy ways and predawn, high-volume gobbling won't be missed.

"I think if I see a turkey in the future I'll just walk the other way," she said.

-- (, March 08, 2002


"The Eggplant That Ate Chicago"

by Norman Greenbaum (Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band)

You'd better watch out for the eggplant that ate Chicago,

For he may eat your city soon.

You'd better watch out for the eggplant that ate Chicago,

If he's still hungry, the whole country's doomed.

He came from outer space, lookin' for somethin' to eat.

He landed in Chicago. He thought Chicago was a treat. (It was sweet, it was just like suger)

You'd better watch out for the eggplant that ate Chicago,

For he may eat your city soon (wacka-do, wacka-do, wacka-do)

You'd better watch out for the eggplant that ate Chicago,

If he's still hungry, the whole country's doomed.

(kazoo solo)

-- (Dr Demento@wacka.doo), March 09, 2002.

Howdy Lars:

Yes they are tough birds. Yesterday afternoon, their were about 6 of them in the side yard. The neighbors cat decided to attack. He ran into the middle of the group and scattered them. Like the Taliban, they regrouped. Like a well oiled machine they went after the cat. I had to go out and save him.

I have been busy this year and don't have much time to post. We have friends coming over for food today.

I am doing a roasted duck with soured blueberry sauce [yeah, I know it is English, but in this case it is also good]. I made sushi [that is vinegared rice], fried-up some clam parts in butter and made rice balls stuffed with clams [served with wasabi]. All goes with sweet potato pie. Now there is an ethnic mix for you. ;o)))

We will eat in front of the fireplace and watch the snow come down.

Best Wishes,,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, March 09, 2002.

oh my

-- helen climbs onto her roof hoping for a sniff from Z's kitchen (, March 09, 2002.

Snowing in MO? All we got is high winds and dropping temps. So far.

-- (, March 09, 2002.

Dems = ?

-- something (not@very.nice), March 09, 2002.

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