As God is My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly

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Well actually some Turkeys can.  Wild Turkeys can fly, albeit clumsily and not more than about 100 yards at a time.  Domestic Turkeys, bred for the table, cannot fly, largely due to their overdeveloped chests, home to all that prized white breast meat.  I don’t know if the publicity stunt would have fared much better with terrified flying wild Turkeys landing near onlookers.  Some things man simply was not meant to meddle with, and that includes dropping Turkeys from great heights.


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  1. Turkeys are very dumb creatures. Great eyesight, wary, but very dumb. Every now and then a flock enters my backyard. After foraging they can’t remember how to get out -so they walk around noisily searching for an exit. They can’t even remember that they can fly, until my small dog reminds them :-).

  2. When I was employed at a GE BWR in upstate NY, the plant’s Security department always had issues (particularly in the autumn) with turkeys flying over the double fence barrier surrounding the facility (ducks and geese too – and the geese were positively nasty; absolutely no fear). They would constantly set off the perimeter intrusion alarms, and there would invariably be that one security guard who simply had to discharge his firearm at some strange and hidden shape flying about in the shadows of the twilight. One dead turkey later, the inevitable report to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is made about an unjustified gunshot within plant environs, and the newspapers in the local area get some cannon fodder about Security Force error at a nuclear facility to chew on for the next few days. Sadly, the chastised and now thoroughly demoralized guard who fired the offending shot doesn’t even get to bring his prize home to eat, but he does get two weeks of retraining.


    PS, we also once had a problem with skunks who liked to have babies in the woods surrounding the plant. They would all wander in the parking lot at twilight searching perhaps for scraps of garbage to eat. I recall that no security guard (or US NRC inspector) dared to challenge them. I guess that white strip along the back stood out in the dim light as a warning. Side note: It is interesting however that the nuclear power plants (unlike coal, oil and gas) were so clean that they attracted all that wildlife. Quite environmental, eh?

  3. I haven’t found geese in that part of the country nasty. It was just that my employer’s B & G service had to hose down the walkways because the geese defecated all over them. The skunks were something else, and I’d never seen anything like them growing up just to the west of there. Omnipresent at night and enormous. I recall one incident where a local cop was called to take care of a presumptively rabid one wandering around in the middle of the day. He shot it with his duty gun and it sprayed some man’s garden as it was expiring. The man in question was one of those patrician / professional-managerial types who think of everyone else as The Help, so the cop got a graceless earful.

  4. “Thank goodness skunks can’t fly!” and watermelons don’t grow on trees. Poor Isaac Newton.
    LQC Farmers use bottle poppers to scare off deer. Fire crackers might be used too instead of a gun… and smudge pots for skunks

  5. Art,

    When I was young & healthy, I would commence my morning 6 mile runs from the Training Center at the plant around 5:15 am. Spring time was dangerous because the geese would fly after me for about a quarter mile, perhaps thinking that I threatened their eggs. Turkeys in the fall simply avoided me. And of course I gave wide berth to skunks no matter the season. And happily no Security Guard shot at me, though they did make fun of a skinny white boy in t-shirt and shorts in summer, or running tights and reflective jacket in winter. Sadly those days are gone.

  6. Mary De Voe,

    Think about it – fire crackers and a nuclear power plant.

    I can see the headlines now in the anti-nuke newspapers. Why some darn fool never tried that to scare off wildlife at the plants where I worked is only due to God’s benevolence.

  7. Heh. I’d just nuke the turkeys.
    Seriously, I once microwaved a large bird (22 lbs) while its twin got the usual oven treatment. Most all agreed the “nuked” bird was the best.

  8. Wild turkeys – They are numerous around the Greater Pittsburgh area. In 2004 I counted over 20 of them in my yard.
    Geese – I hate the d***ed things. Geese permeate the walkway between PNC Park and Heinz Field along the Allegheny River. Their dung is particularly nasty and they leave it all over the walkway. They pester small children at the waterfall and get in the way of joggers and bicyclists. Stupid animal rights people care more for those nasty geese than they do babies. I would love to let the geese have it with a proper hunting instrument.

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