Beechmont area residents in New Rochelle have a new neighbor– a wild eastern turkey they call by different names like Fred, Tom, Mrs. Turkey, or Henny-Penny (There’s some confusion over gender names, but it’s a hen for sure. ) Her proper Latin name is Meleagris gallopavo.
She has been frequenting homes on Montgomery Circle and Lester Place, sometimes traveling as far as the Esplanade, Antler and Forest Avenue, while calmly looking for good things to eat. For more than a month, in the morning and evening, she often can be seen on front lawns, in driveways, and in flower beds, strutting along with her head bobbing left and right.
She’s really quite a large bird and beautiful with brown feathers on her body, a grey head, and sharp black eyes. She could weigh 12 pounds or more.
The neighbors are taking a lot of pictures. They also are worried that she may be caught by a red-tailed hawk who recently moved into the area. One day the hawk took a nose-dive straight down at the bird, but thankfully (for her) missed.
Native wildlife, like her, are losing their habitats all over the state. So the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is on the lookout for eastern wild turkeys and has started to conduct a survey that you can find here.