Living in Harrington Park today, we take the presence of eastern wild turkeys for granted. These beautiful birds wander the woods and yards in search of food and many of us have had to stop driving to wait for a flock to cross a road (Lafayette in particular!) that we are driving on. Did you know that 40 years ago there were no wild turkeys in all of New Jersey?! Due to habitat changes and hunting, the eastern wild turkey population had disappeared in the mid 1800’s. In 1977 the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife reintroduced 22 wild turkeys and started relocating them two years later…the population quickly grew 1,000 fold with 20,000-23,000 wild turkeys living in New Jersey now and they have moved into suburban areas in search of food. There is a turkey hunting season and ~3,000 birds are harvested annually in NJ. I really enjoy watching them and try to photograph them (…it would help to have a camera with a telephoto lens for close ups). These are photos of eastern wild turkeys living in HP- photographed by Joannie Turner, Peter Ardito and MAS.
For more information about eastern wild turkeys, please see https://hpgreenteam.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/lets-talk-turkey/