Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Turkey traffic jam: a story in photos.

I heard the stories and saw the photos, but we never crossed paths until today. That's right: I finally encountered the famed urban turkeys of Madison, WI. My fascination started when my friend Scott (he lives under a mile away) took a photo of them in his front yard. It was then that I knew I needed to meet the turkeys, take a turkey selfie, and write about these unique feathered friends.

Today's turkey selfie.
Madison's turkeys are city-dwelling birds who freely (and at times irreverently) roam streets and neighborhoods. My friend Elysha recently saw them chase her mailman. It's a feisty bunch.

Through the Turkeys of Madison, WI Facebook group, I watched their travels and learned about their favorite local places. It was in this group where I learned that the turkeys are fond of the drive thru at the Schenk's Corners branch of Monona State Bank. When I passed the bank on my way home today, there they were: the fab 4 in all their glory.

I wasn't the only person who stopped to photograph the birds. I may have been the only one to take 34 photos, though. I'll take you through some highlights (click photos to enlarge):

The fab 4 took a leisurely walk to the bank drive thru.
They did some preening, strutting, and fluffing.
There wasn't enough excitement at the bank, so they headed into the street. 
An ambulance came and they refused to move. Sirens and horns meant nothing to the turkeys. 
Then, the traffic came. 
And the traffic stopped.
And a kind civilian shooed the turkeys out of the way. 
Nice guy. All the turkeys made it safely to the sidewalk.
As I walked back to my car, the turkeys returned to the street and blocked a bus. They refused to move, so the bus had to back up and go around them. Turkeys own the neighborhood!

I really couldn't have asked for a better first turkey encounter. Hopefully I will see them more often, take more photos with them, and capture video footage of local gobbling. This city is weird.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there!

    Congrats on your Best in Madison win again!! I stumbled upon your blog via the Madison Magazine's post and wanted to connect with you about a non-profit I help organize to see if there would be anyway you could help me reach out to our community. I look forward to hearing from you!