If you told Eileen Buckley a year ago that she would soon become known as “The Crazy Turkey Lady,” she would have laughed in disbelief.
Yet that’s exactly what her family is calling her these days.
That’s because a flock of 20 wild turkeys have taken up residence in her back yard on Lyons Plain Road, and show no signs of leaving.
“They’ve moved in and are truly living here now,” she said.
The turkeys started appearing this past fall, pecking and grabbing birdseed from underneath a bird feeder located on the patio in her back yard.
Initially, she tried to scare them off because they were stealing food meant for ground-feeding songbirds such as cardinals.
But that didn’t work. The turkeys came by every morning, gobbling seeds from under the bird feeder during the day and making themselves at home in trees in Ms. Buckley’s yard at night.
“I thought they might just be passing through and would eventually leave, but they didn’t,” she said.
So in order to keep the hungry interlopers away from her bird feeder, Ms. Buckley decided to feed them.
Twice a day — once in the morning and once in the afternoon — she puts handfuls of cracked corn on her patio for the flock of hungry turkeys to munch on. They also still scoop up any seed that falls from the bird feeder. “Turkeys are the kind of birds that would do nothing but eat all day if they could,” Ms. Buckley said.
The cardinals in the yard have adjusted to the hogging turkeys and have learned to get their daily quota of seed from the bird feeder itself, rather than from underneath on the patio and ground, where they would prefer to dine.
But all the songbirds get the bird feeder to themselves around 5 p.m., when the turkeys call it a day and fly up into Ms. Buckley’s trees for a good night’s rest. “They totally move as a group, with whatever they do,” she said.