Have you seen a flock of wild turkeys crossing the road? Or did you spot them on your hike in a Pittsburgh park? You can help the Pennsylvania Game Commission by reporting these sightings in the state’s annual sighting survey through the end of the month. The state is tracking population trends and long-term reproductive success (survival rates), as well as developing hunting regulations.
Wild turkeys are rooted in Pennsylvania’s heritage — a dependable food source for Native Americans until European colonizers over-hunted and their habitat declined. When the Game Commission was created in 1895, it was a positive step toward protection.
Fun fact: Wild turkeys were so admired by colonial statesmen that Benjamin Franklin proposed it as our national symbol. Of course, it lost out to another beloved Pittsburgh-area bird, the bald eagle.