State Trying To Mediate Peace Treaty Between Man And Fowl

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Dongan Hills residents said their streets are for the birds.

CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reports on what the state may do about this flock of wild turkey.

Call it fowl play. Turkeys are running in traffic, in backyards and even in the middle of the street. The birds are a real nuisance near Staten Island University Hospital.

“If I was in an ambulance, I wouldn’t want to have to stop for turkeys,” resident Ellen Murray said.

“I like the turkeys. My grandchildren love them,” added resident Mike Budano.

Budano must really love the turkeys. His car was covered in droppings on Wednesday.

“Some of it is from the turkeys, and some of it is from the trees, but they do make a mess on the property,” Budano said.

Some said it’s time to gobble them all up, and move them.

“I would say put them on a farm where they can get treated right, because they keep getting hit,” resident John Catrama said.

Or — live and let the feathery flocks — live.

“There are a lot of people that are concerned about the turkeys. There are also people who like the turkeys,” said Suzanne Mattei of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Mattei said rather than continue talkin’ turkeys on Staten Island, the state wants to stick its neck out and do something. So it is sending questionnaires to all the affected residents, asking whether they can peacefully coexist. Should the birds be relocated somewhere safe, or, as a last resort, euthanize them, in a so-called Thanksgiving harvest? Or perhaps testing them for disease and then donating them to charity.

What you won’t see on the questionnaire is the state’s final option, declaring the turkeys a public health threat. If that happens all bets are off.

“We’d like to see what the options are, before we get to those harder solutions.”

They may involve a controlled hunt.

Whatever the outcome, the state’s questionnaire will at least give residents a bigger voice than the birds – which seem to like throwing their weight around.

For now, residents have to scare the birds off with their car horns, or garden hoses.

Hunting is illegal in all the boroughs.


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