Flocks of wild turkeys are a common sight in southern New Jersey. It’s a relatively new phenomenon and it’s fabulous to see them! There were no wild turkeys in the state between 1850 and about 1950. The historically abundant birds were locally extinct.
It is thought that some wild turkeys from Pennsylvania may have colonized New Jersey around 1950. Then in 1977, state game managers introduced 22 wild turkeys. The flock prospered and grew enough so that two years later some of the turkeys could be captured and relocated to establish new populations. The introductions were spectacularly successful! There are over 20,000 turkeys in New Jersey now. We see them by the road sides, in backyards, in the woods, in empty lots, and walking among the spring crops.
Read about more New Jersey/New York wildlife in my blog, the Urban Wildlife Guide.
And in my book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife.
Thanks for reading! Julie 🙂