I always knew there were wild turkeys in the New York area. I had seen big flocks of them just across the G.W. bridge in New Jersey, and also in the northern part of the Bronx. But both of those places are on the U.S. mainland (incidentally, the Bronx is the only land-locked burough- Manhattan and Staten are islands, and Queens and Brooklyn are on Long Island.) Anyway, a few years ago, I started to seeing turkeys on Manhattan island. First one in Riverside Park, then Inwood Park. A couple of weeks ago I saw one in Morningside Park.



How are they getting there? The first time I saw one, I assumed someone had left him there, but now I've seen three turkeys in two years in different locations in Manhattan. They don't fly*, so I guess they're walking. Here's my theory- they're crossing a railroad bridge across the Harlem River from the Bronx (see map below). Once they got across there, they could follow the river south. But Morningside Park is three blocks inland- busy blocks, crossing Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.

*Update- several people have corrected me on this point- wild turkeys fly! Domestic ones don't. Someone told me there's a wild turkey living in Central Park...


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