Off the plate, turkeys aren’t always welcome

Wild turkeys aren’t always welcome as their numbers grow on Long Island. ©Tony Hisgett

Wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) have been declining in New York state over the past 13 years, but on Long Island, their populations have exploded. The state Department of Environmental Conservation counts about 6,000 birds on Long Island — about twice the population in 2009 — according to Newsday. Their growing numbers have divided residents. Some welcome them (and their tick-eating habits). Others see them as a nuisance and a traffic hazard. Statewide, Newsday reports, New York has about 180,000 wild turkeys, down from a peak of 275,000 in 2006.

See what residents have to say about the birds here.