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Why did the turkeys cross the road? No, seriously, why?

on December 23, 2011

Did anyone notice these turkeys roaming about South Rockridge Boulevard near Broadway on Wednesday? Oakland North editor Cynthia Gorney spotted four of them out for a stroll and took these photos.

Anyone have clues or theories about where they came from or where they were going? A wild pack? Locavore poultry husbandry project gone wrong? Christmas dinner escapees? Let us know in the comments section!


  1. Gene on December 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I’ve seen a similar flock near Broadway and Golden Gate Ave, about 1/2 a mile from there.

  2. Shanti on December 23, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Turkeys began to appear in Pinole, 16 miles north of Oakland, about five years ago. There are now dozens, if not a hundred or so of them. They roam in and out of the woods and cross the streets through the neighborhood! I don’t know how they got there, but they seem to have made it their home…perhaps some wanted a change and hitched a ride to Oakland?

  3. Helen Hutchison on December 23, 2011 at 10:39 am

    There are lots of wild turkeys throughout Oakland.

    • Tracy Livezey on December 23, 2011 at 11:23 am

      I had one walk right in front of my car and make various threatening gestures while I was driving in the hills last year. I had to wait until he moved to the side to peck at my right front tire before I could gun the engine and escape. I guess that’s one way to impress a girl.

      • Mr Freely on December 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

        Do you text message while driving your car?

  4. Allure Nobell on December 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I’ve seen them at the junction of Old Tunnel Road and the entrance to 24- also on Fish Ranch-turkeys in Oakland, long may they roam!

    • Scott Phipps on December 24, 2011 at 9:19 am

      Be careful what you ask for. It’ certainly nice to have a few roaming around but they do have a pack mentality. I heard a great story on NPR about such a case and a bully Tom who harassed an entire town. It was a good story funny and yet tragic.

  5. Tracy Livezey on December 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I saw three of these guys strutting down the street one block north of Broadway right around Thanksgiving. Clearly, they’re taunting us.

  6. Laurie Halliday on December 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Time to bring out the holiday classic from our family of four sitting in the car on Mountain Blvd almost at Park Blvd in Montclair….fondly referred to as “Turkey Lurkey”

  7. Cynthia Gorney on December 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Caramba, do I love this city. Who knew there were so many astute turkey observers?

    One interesting thing about this gang: they were quite unperturbed by me trailing after them with my phone/camera–but they would NOT let me photograph their faces. They just kept calmly turning away and regrouping. I’m thinking they were either on the lam or celebrities practiced at managing the paparazzi.

  8. David Cohen on December 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I believe the local wild turkey population is centered in Mountain View Cemetery, very near this encounter. I have seen flocks in the cemetery with as many as 25 individuals. Their main activity right now is eating fallen acorns.

    • Andrew on February 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

      The wild turkeys roost in the many Eucalyptus trees of Mountain View Cemetery. Unfortunately, the new management of the cemetery is in the middle of a massive deforestation effort, removing these old Eucalyptus trees. The turkeys may be looking for new habitat as their current one is literally being bull-dozed. I have never witnessed this level of arborcide before. It is a very unsettling thing to watch all of these elder trees come down, destroying habitat for the turkeys, native owls, and other creatures.

      The new groundskeepers make the most baffling decisions. They recently planted a line of literally hundreds of redwoods on the western border of the cemetery… all SIX feet apart! Redwoods are not a hedge. They do not look natural in a line. And six feet spacing is not nearly enough.

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