Let’s talk turkey: Share your comments on the wild birds of Main Street (Updated with photos)

by beth on January 16, 2015

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Above: Wild turkeys are known to roam the yards like this in Southborough. But no one has shared any pics with me of the most infamous birds in town – the Main Street turkeys. (Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

A reader emailed me about wild turkeys on Main Street. Noting that the lack of blog coverage, the reader queried:

Do you know the two I am talking about? It is a weekly occurrence to see “Statler and Waldorf” (the endearing names I have come up with in my head) in someone’s lawn, in the middle of the road, and “attacking” the car tires of people trying to get through causing a traffic jam a half mile long at times.

Since I have started seeing them it has spurred me to look up all sorts of fun facts about wild turkeys: where they sleep etc.

Do you know anything about these two? I have never seen them apart! Are they in fact wild? They seem so domesticated at times.

It’s true, I’ve never dedicated a post to them.

I’ve certainly seen wild turkeys around town and even in my neighborhood. But I haven’t had any personal experiences with the poultry on Main Street.

Yet, those turkeys have been mentioned in reader comments many times and I’ve heard plenty of complaints and jokes about them around town.

So, I guess it’s time to talk turkey.

Do you have any information about the crittters or anecdotes to share?

Do the plucky birds make you smile?

Or do they get you down?

Update (1/16/15 2:25 pm): Reader “Nancy V” shared the photos below from fall 2013, in front of Fay School. (Click to enlarge)

1 Sarah Cassell January 16, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Thank you for sharing this light-hearted post on a Friday. It makes me smile-I just love these two!

2 Jennifer Cunningham January 16, 2015 at 1:20 PM

I have named them ” Thelma & Louise” as they are always causing a stir.

3 Nancy V January 16, 2015 at 2:04 PM

I have a few photos of the two of them. I will send them to you, beth.

4 Wayne January 16, 2015 at 2:10 PM

I drive by this area frequently. The Two Turkeys are becoming a danger, and are going to eventually lead to a traffic incident. The other morning there was a driver halted heading toward the Center of town for in upwards of 5 minutes. Cars backed up behind her, eventually got frustrated and passed on the wrong side of the road. The cars heading toward Westboro had no idea and there was easily 4-5 close calls. It’s silly to even bring up, but this is a matter of if, not when.

5 Rachel January 16, 2015 at 3:13 PM

These turkeys are ferocious! I’ve seen them attack cars and bully runners.

6 Rich January 17, 2015 at 6:55 AM

I travel on route 30 every day and I’ve had to stop numerous times due to traffic jams caused by the two turkeys. They are a definite traffic and safety hazard and the town needs to do something to have them removed from the area permanently!

7 An animal lover January 17, 2015 at 11:02 PM


I am truly an animal lover so please do not think less of me for what I write.

I too have seen drivers stop for these 2 turkeys and I have also seen drivers go into the other lane to avoid them. These are smart and aggressive animals.

I simply slow down to about 20 miles an hour and continue driving straight. The turkeys get out of the way every time.

8 Neil Rossen January 17, 2015 at 7:53 AM

We are overrun by these creatures. Up to 20 or more at a time. They should be severely culled.

9 minimom January 22, 2015 at 7:18 PM


10 carl Guyer January 17, 2015 at 11:02 AM

Let us remember the two legged invasive creature that has caused the most severe damage to the local environment and is the greatest threat to all life does not have wings and is a frequent reader of this blog. Ask the turkeys, this destructive creature eliminated their kind from this area for many years.

11 bilbo collins January 17, 2015 at 11:24 AM

easy solution. thanksgiving dinner

12 Ginny Martins January 18, 2015 at 9:20 AM

I am a Main Street Resident and these two wild bearded turkey gobblers are actually female. Our family nicknamed them years ago, Honk & Scuttle (because you would think if you honked, they would scuttle away, but this is certainly not the case). They are quite brazen and often prevent me from going to get my mail. I have some great photos of them just walking up the middle of Sears Road, like they own the town. I’m sensing a children’s book somewhere out there….

13 Beth T. January 18, 2015 at 7:37 PM

We nicknamed them Batman & Robin. My kids love when we see them. My husband has attempted to “shoo” them away at times. I understand the frustration and concerns but I kind of like seeing them around. I get worried when I don’t see them!!

14 Andrew Ferencz January 19, 2015 at 6:31 AM

A few years ago we had a couple of turkeys and each winter I count more. A few days ago I had 45 turkeys in my backyard. But our turkeys are well behaved, they know to stay off the road.

15 susanp January 19, 2015 at 7:47 PM

Just curious. Isn’t it unusual to see two females hanging out together without young? Do they split up in breeding season, have young, and then come back together? Anyone seen any young?

16 JW January 19, 2015 at 11:13 PM

Turkeys, deer, and other wild animals are a natural part of Southborough. If they REALLY bother you maybe you should live somewhere else. Yes, they do cause some delays on Rt .30 – and perhaps this is good. Speeding through Southborough (like some people want to do) should be curtailed. Maybe the turkeys know that – – – – –

17 Kaytee January 21, 2015 at 10:35 PM

I started calling them Bonnie & Clyde when they first started hanging out by Fay. They used to have a nest up in the trees on the WB side of the street. They have tried to attack my car, several times. They don’t move if you honk at them, try to scoot them out of the way, etc. They just look at you and laugh. They do crack me up and I am amazed at how long they have been there. There was a couple month stretch where I didn’t see them and was concerned, but there they were the next morning, walking the double yellow line up the middle of 30. To use the excuse “the turkeys were blocking the road again” at most jobs probably wouldn’t fly well, but living/working in town, it is truth. We had 25 (yes 25) turkeys in our yard over the spring/summer. I thought it was “Bonnie & Clyde”, but found out a couple days later when I passed Bonnie & Clyde on 30 and came home to find the 25 others in my yard.

18 Neil Rossen January 22, 2015 at 10:01 AM

I think they should be culled. Or do we wait until there are a couple of 100?

19 minimom January 22, 2015 at 7:23 PM

Yea….we heard you the first time!

20 LAW January 22, 2015 at 10:57 AM

We call them the brothers. They are male turkeys you can tell because of their beards and the color of their heads. My family enjoys seeing them and do get worried when a few days go by without a sighting. However I do agree the wild boys have become rather braising and most likely will be the cause of a traffic accident at some point in the near future.

21 Jamie January 22, 2015 at 11:07 AM

I see them all the time on route 30 near Fay…every time I think “why did the chicken cross the road.”

22 Environmental Educator January 22, 2015 at 11:23 AM

I agree with JW and other residents. These are wild animals and they are part of our neighborhood as well. There are areas which would beg to have any signs of wildlife in their town, and we are given the chance to embrace the animal that was almost our national bird.

This “disturbance” to auto traffic is a concern, but it also is causing drivers to slow down and go the speed limit. Note that the limits are actually quite slow in the areas that they are seen. Though I have not witnessed these two causing trouble, I have noted the rafter of 40 that were gathered near the transfer station.

If these two become a legitimate danger to people, animal control should be contacted to relocate them. For now, they are a natural part of living in a community with lush woodlands.

23 Frank Crowell January 22, 2015 at 3:44 PM

Are you sure you can relocate turkeys? I thought that was one of the reasons they shoot beavers (or is it trap and kill).

24 Kathryn K. January 23, 2015 at 8:46 AM

I agree with EE. I drive this way frequently, and it forces people to slow down–a good thing. I have never seen a close call, and residents can choose an alternate route if it really bothers them. My family loves the turkeys–a nice reminder to slow down and enjoy living in a place lucky enough to have wildlife. If we didn’t enjoy open land and wildlife, we’d move to the city.

25 Neil Rossen January 22, 2015 at 1:59 PM

Have you noticed that we are overrun with deer that destroy vegetation? Deer and turkeys have very little competition (other than the odd endangered coyote) allowing them to multiply out of control. There are over 5000 Lyme disease cases a year in MA. Further, I’m sure that if a turkey should peck at a child there would be an outcry. Just a matter of time. BTW, we literally have a herd of deer out back. Animal control simply move the problem elsewhere. They don’t solve it.

26 Nic January 22, 2015 at 7:08 PM

We have always referred to them as Fay and Mark. They have become a staple sight on Main Street, and have definitely calmed down since first “moving in” to town. I hope they stay a very long time :)

27 Carl Guyer January 22, 2015 at 8:18 PM

The turkeys causing the traffic problems are behind the steering wheel. Many of the opinions here are versions of the classical myth that the planet is a temporary holding facility created for humans on their journey to heaven and the natural world is to be considered as a useful resource to be exploited during our unfortunate time on Earth. Cemeteries are full of true believers in this myth.

28 Bill January 23, 2015 at 6:40 PM

Well said.

29 Al Hamilton January 23, 2015 at 9:47 AM

If only there were some apex predator that would bring the population into balance. Yum….

30 Neil Rossen January 23, 2015 at 12:51 PM

I have suggested, to what seems like disapprobation, that humans as “apex predators” bring the population into balance.

31 LAW January 23, 2015 at 4:29 PM

Humans do, it’s called hunting season.

32 Neil Rossen January 23, 2015 at 6:25 PM

I’m thinking of an organized culling in volume. That is not just hunting when there are so few hunters in the gentle suburbs.

33 Resident January 23, 2015 at 2:28 PM

30 comments on turkeys, none on budgets. Pathetic.

34 beth January 23, 2015 at 4:53 PM

I can’t resist pointing out that yours is the 30th comment under the turkeys post. Feel free to comment on the budgets post!

35 Al Hamilton January 24, 2015 at 8:40 AM

This is far more amusing.

36 Resident April 9, 2015 at 8:35 AM

I am 100% sure their names are BOB and DAVE.

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