Bettina Rousos photographed a turkey last week at South Shore Cultural Center Park.
“He was pretty popular,” she emailed. “Everyone was wondering what he was and where he came from. Two guys in a golf cart came over, which made him fly up into a tree. He looked like a flying over-sized raccoon! Big guy!”
“It’s a hen turkey for sure,” emailed Luke Garver, wild turkey project manager for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “As far as whether it’s wild or escaped domestic, I can’t be sure. We get more reports every year about turkeys in the Chicago area, so my suspicion, and hope, is that they are occupying those areas naturally. But it’s entirely likely that some of those birds are descended from escapees. Either way, they seem to be able to make a pretty decent living on golf courses and tree-filled subdivisions.”
The wilds of Chicago keep right on evolving.
It’s worth a second photo.