Here are the locations where you’ll find the most wild turkeys on Staten Island

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Turkeys seem to be everywhere on Staten Island — and we’re not talking about those on the tables of your Thanksgiving feasts.

Wild turkeys found on Staten Island are not a new thing. Despite attempts by local officials to rid the Island of them, it seems like the Island flock is growing in increasing numbers.

At first, they were confined to the Mid-Island, primarily found near Staten Island University and South Beach Psychiatric hospitals and the surrounding neighborhood. In recent years, the fowl have been spotted in Silver Lake, Mariners Harbor, Westerleigh, Willowbrook and other neighborhoods across the borough.

nws turkeys

Here are some prime wild turkey hangouts, according to Staten Islanders. (Staten Island Advance)

READERS CATCH TURKEYS ON CAMERA

We recently asked Staten Islanders where they spot the most wild turkeys and here’s what they said:

-Lincoln Avenue in Grant City

Lincoln Avenue/Grant City

Christina Marie Padilla sent this photo taken Lincoln Avenue in Grant City.

-Victory Boulevard and Watchogue Road blocking traffic, said one reader.

-”A huge clan of 15 in Silver Lake Park,” said Lois Alonzo on Facebook.

-Clove Lakes Park

-Ludwig Street, New Brighton

Turkeys

Rhea Kelly sent this photo of turkeys on
Ludwig Street.

-Howard Avenue, Grymes Hill

Turkeys

Michele Melina sent this photo of turkeys spotted on Howard Avenue, Grymes hill.

-Woolley Avenue, Willowbrook

turkeys

Fran Lodispoto snapped a shot of this turkey walking into traffic on Wooley Avenue, Willowbrook.

-Near Planet Fitness, Forest Avenue in West Brighton

Turkeys

George Gadus Morhua caught this turkey trying to get a gym membership at Planet Fitness in West Brighton.

-Bement Avenue, West Brighton

-Forest Hill Road at Richmond Hill Road, New Springville

-Arlo Road, Grymes Hill

Apartment hunting?

Lisa Fricker sent this photo of a Turkey on Arlo Road, grymes Hill who looks as if he/she might be apartment hunting.

-Hamden Avenue, Grant City

-Mill Road and Ebbits Street, New Dorp

Turkey

This turkey was caught on camera by Bill Hynes at Mill Road and Ebbits Street on Nov.19 at about 10 a.m.

OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO WORK ON A PLAN

Councilman David Carr (R-Mid-Island) said he’s committed to working with the state toward a solution to the wild turkey situation.

“We are committed to working together to address the quality-of-life issues that have arisen with the surge in the invasive turkey population, and will be collaborating with my colleagues and other stakeholders on developing a long-term strategy,” Carr previously told the Advance/SILive.com.

The wild fowl were previously removed to And-Hof Animal Sanctuary in upstate New York, but relocation efforts were put on hold in October 2019, because the state was worried the sanctuary couldn’t keep the turkeys on its property, and said the site would need to install an enclosure or annually clip the turkeys’ wings so they could not fly. In addition, the sanctuary would need to expand the 12-acre area to add room for additional turkeys — as the number had grown to more than 200.

The coronavirus pandemic hit shortly thereafter, and the state severed ties with the sanctuary.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has since taken a different stance on how to deal with the borough’s birds, saying it doesn’t believe that capturing and transporting wildlife is a viable long-term solution.

A DEC spokesman previously told the Advance/SILive.com: “DEC is committed to working with Councilmember Carr, other Borough officials, along with the affected communities, and looks forward to providing assistance to the City of New York as it develops a long-term management strategy to address the established population of wild turkeys on Staten Island.”

CAN WE CO-EXIST WITH THE WILD TURKEYS?

David Karopkin, licensed wildlife rehabber, wildlife adviser and advocate, said he believes the turkeys belong on Staten Island — they’re a part of the borough’s ecosystem and have been thriving.

“I look at this through a broader lens of how do we coexist with the wildlife that’s around us? How do we address the issues that the presence of wildlife in close proximity to humans is causing?” he said.

Like the state, Karopkin said he believes relocating the turkeys is not the best option, because unless every turkey is captured, the fowl will always exist on Staten Island.

“So, shouldn’t the goal be to learn how to mitigate these situations and conflicts [people have with the wild turkeys] to resolve them as best as can be achieved and learn how to coexist with them?” Karopkin asked.

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