State Police warning motorists of turkey mating season - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

State Police warning motorists of turkey mating season

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Deer versus car accidents are fairly common, but lately, Mass. State Police say it's wild turkeys drivers should watch out for.

It is turkey mating season and animal control officers said that 'Tom the Turkey' is out trying to impress the females and isn't exactly focusing on incoming traffic.

This Facebook post from Mass. State Police from Easter Sunday showed what happened when a turkey flew into this woman's windshield traveling on I-495.  Thankfully, she's okay.

A turkey also flew into 20-year old college student Jordan Zak's Jeep on the Mass. Pike in Framingham, as she traveled home to Brimfield last week.

"The first thing I remember seeing when I could really focus was just like the shattering and the feathers everywhere," Zak said.

Zak's okay, but State Police and local animal control officers are warning drivers to keep an eye out.

"The males can get up to 25 pounds, so it's not usual.  The females are a little smaller, but the males can pack a big punch when they hit a windshield," said Agawam animal control officer Allison Strong.

Turkey's at the Forest Park Zoo in Springfield let us get an up-close look at just how big a turkey can get:  20 pounds, 30 pounds, or more.

Strong told Western Mass News that this time of year, tom's are paying attention to females and not traffic.

"So the minute a tom starts chasing one of the females, they may try and scoot and get away which could be why we're seeing them cross roads. They're on the sides of the roads and then they're startled and then they all take flight," Stong explained.

Strong said that contrary to popular belief, unlike deer, turkey's like being out during the day.

"They're active all day long.  It's not until dark that they're going to go back into the woods and up into the trees to stay away from animals that want to eat them," Strong noted. 

While there's not much a driver can do, Strong said that keeping an eye out, especially along roads lined with grassy areas, is a good start.

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