A female wild turkey has been roaming Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach since late June, largely to the delight of residents.
“She has been sighted all around this area and people absolutely love her,” Sylke Scharrenbroich told the Canarsie Courier through social media. “We love her. I hope she finds a Tom and makes some chicks.”
The turkey — lovingly nicknamed Henry, Henrietta, Jenny, Bernie or LuLu by neighbors — is healthy and unbothered by the humans in the area. She’s been spotted all over Marine Park and the adjoining salt marsh, as well as by houses and Knapp Street Pizza. Residents said she’s identifiable as a female due to her brown-tipped feathers and lack of a waddle.
It’s unclear exactly where she originated from, though some residents speculate she could’ve found her way here from a Staten Island or Long Island turkey colony.
The Parks Department confirmed turkeys are native to the region and that it has received reports of the animal.
“Wild turkeys are one of the many native species that call our city home. If you spot a wild turkey, don’t be intimidated — just keep your distance and observe respectfully,” Urban Park Ranger Sergeant Amanda Seaquist said in a statement. “Healthy animals are a sign of a robust ecosystem, so it’s always helpful to know what creatures New Yorkers are seeing and where. You can report seeing healthy animals on the WildlifeNYC webpage. If you see an injured or sick animal, please call 311.”
The department advises against feeding the turkey and to discourage her from nesting on your property if she’s hanging around by scaring her off, from a distance, with loud noises. Additionally, it’s advised to observe her from afar, as turkeys can become aggressive during breeding season or upon seeing their reflection.
“See him every day on my walks, don’t know why, just puts a smile on my face,” Rose Blinder told Canarsie Courier through social media. “I get so happy every time I see him, that he’s surviving out here.”