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Madison Snaps: November 22, 2006

Today's image is titled Turkey and was photographed by Dave Esmond.

The UW Arboretum nestled in the midst of Madison's south side is home to numerous wild turkeys, who for the most part are quite docile in disposition. The turkeys remain thick in the arboretum year-round, with cross-country skiers often coming upon flocks of the birds, such as in this photo. The turkeys don't always stay in the arboretum, though, sometimes making their way into surrounding developments.

Here's one recently notorious story. On Apr. 7, one turkey broke into a home on the southwest side, triggering a motion detector alarm and a visit from two Madison police officers. Here is the police report on the ensuing confrontation:

Officers came out of the house to compose themselves of what they learned... a viscous wild turkey was tormenting the house. Officers reached an Animal Control Officer who stated that there have been a number of wild turkey complaints in Madison as it was mating season. Animal Control advised to get a large blanket and coax the turkey from behind into leaving out the door. That failed. The turkey was standing in the corner of the room with its beak pressed into a corner and it didn't appear to be injured. Now the bird was pecking its beak into the corner, relentlessly. The officers obtained a small cup of water and threw it on the turkey's head, but it didn't move, only stopped pecking. Officers then arranged furniture in the room to funnel the turkey out the door. That failed because the turkey ran down the funnel, but continued upstairs. The turkey went behind a couch in the study upstairs. The officer did not want to continue to have the turkey damage the room to the large extent it had downstairs, so the officer used a taser to subdue it. The first shock to the back of the turkey only froze it in place. The turkey then flew around and broke the light fixture. A second deployment of the taser worked as the turkey flew down the hallway, stairs and out the front door.

For those persons interested in procuring a wild turkey for their Thanksgiving meal, the fall hunting season ended on Nov. 9. For those interested in serving turkey, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities over the weekend.

There is a larger version of the photo in the gallery at right.

This is the latest entry of Madison Snaps: photos of Madison-area events and locations. The Isthmus group photo pool is the primary source for Madison Snaps, which are published here with the permission of individual contributors. If you are interested in having your photo eligible for Madison Snaps, please respond to the posting on the Flickr group page, or send a message. There is no compensation for Madison Snaps photos, which are © to the respective photographers.

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