Wild turkeys take over Staten Island neighborhood

November 10, 2010 3:23:18 PM PST
Wild turkeys in Mike Budano's Dongan Hills neighborhood are an every day nuisance.

"They're not bad, but they crap and make a mess all over the car," he said.

They are all over the place in a stretch along Staten Island's south shore, grazing on the grounds of Staten Island University Hospital and a neighboring psychiatric center.

"One day I counted 138 crossing the street here," hot dog vendor Paul Heyne said.

Heyne, from his hot dog and lunch truck, sees flocks of them every day along Mason Avenue. Growing up in the neighborhood, he thinks he knows how they got here.

"About 12 years ago somebody dropped off two turkeys down by the psychiatric center and since then they've multiplied," he said.

Yes, the toms and the hens have come together. Their numbers... a mere guess. Yet, you only have to encounter one.

"A turkey flew in and hit my windshield. It kinda bounced off my car and I never found it," Erika Renick said.

The close calls are plenty as they scamper out of the way of drivers.

"My grandchildren love them. But I just don't like them coming on the property and making a mess," Mike Budano said.

Some believe they find more than enough to eat here, grazing on seeds, berries, and nuts and such.

Others though think they are still here because someone must be feeding them.

While waiting for her lunch, Erika Renick was thinking.

"They should round them up and take them where they can have a nice turkey home," she said.

Take them away, before they take over another yard.

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