What is going on? This turkey on this particular road has attacked my husband's car numerous times. He's even got a schedule: every day at exactly 4:00 p.m., there the "demon" is.
He hogs the road, swaggering back and forth between the futilely honking cars he's blocked in both directions, pecking at tires and staring down drivers through windows left open in the end-of-summer heat. People roll their windows up faster than African safari park visitors who fear being mauled by lions.
I had to figure out the story of why we are suddenly overrun by turkeys. There had to be one. And indeed, there is! Wild turkeys, once as common as deer in pre-Colonial times, were nearly extinct a century ago after relentless predation and habitat destruction by European settlers and all who came after them. But thanks to an amazing wildlife management plan that involved large, baited nets concealed on the ground that were then propelled by teeny rockets (I'm not kidding) over unsuspecting birds, thousands of them got relocated and started feeding and breeding all over the place. We now have over seven million of them!
"Wild" turkeys now roam all states but Alaska, many of which never originally contained a wild turkey population, so today's turkeys might be considered an invasive species. It's a wildlife biologist's best dream - and worst nightmare - that they've done so well, but if you're simply trying to get across the parking lot at Walmart in some random suburban town without being chased and viciously pecked, this is nothing but the stuff of nightmares, conservation success story be damned.