CEDAR RAPIDS — A wild turkey on the run in northeast Cedar Rapids is likely not a threat, a Department of Natural Resources official said Saturday.
The female turkey, which appears to be a healthy 20 pounds, was spotted Saturday loitering near a Casey’s General Store at 1661 32nd St. NE. It appeared to pay little attention to those passing by in cars and on foot, pecking and digging around in the leaves in search of food.
At one point, the turkey attempted to cross the road and froze when a city bus slowed to avoid hitting it. A passing motorist got out of his truck and shooed the hen back to safety.
According to multiple residents, the turkey has been spotted in several areas, including a neighborhood by Mount Mercy University as well as yards along 29th Street NE, 32nd Street NE and Center Point Road.
The hen has apparently approached at least two vehicles, straightening her neck, ruffling her feathers and flapping her wings.
According to Tim Thompson, a wildlife management biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, it’s typical for wild turkeys to wander into the city. He said the department attempted to capture some near Mercy Medical Center a couple of years ago.
But Thompson said wild turkeys should not pose a problem to people. They may only be aggressive in the spring when they’re breeding.
“People enjoying seeing them,” he said. He added turkeys are usually wary of people, though some will eat from bird feeders.
Thompson also said it’s rare that a vehicle will strike a wild turkey.