A flock of feathered hooligans has been intimidating residents of Woburn, Massachusetts, and their leader is one especially tough turkey: Kevin.
The five wild birds spend a lot of time in particular on the lawn of a woman named Meaghan Tolson, according to a new report from The Guardian, appropriately published on Thanksgiving.
Tolson, who gave Kevin his name, characterizes him as the bad egg among the otherwise all-female turkey crew. (The hens she calls Gladys, Ester, Monica and Patricia.)
“The women are more mellow and not so territorial. But I think he kind of amps them up to get them going to chase people,” she told The Guardian.
“They don’t let you out of your house,” she said.
While The Guardian brought national attention to Kevin and his band of rogues, local media has also covered their antics in recent months.
“They’re up at 6 a.m. in my lawn and start chasing us, trying to pop the tires,” Woburn resident Devin Farren told NBC Boston in September. “It’s wild!”
David Scarpitti, a turkey expert with the state’s wildlife department, told CBS Boston that these kinds of problems arise when turkeys become too habituated to humans. Typically this happens due to people feeding them directly, or from the turkeys freeloading off of bird feeders intended for other kinds of birds.
“Turkeys are just kind of acting out what they do amongst themselves,” he said, adding that running away can fuel the problem because they’ll begin to see you as “subdominant” to them.
Instead, he recommends carrying an umbrella and opening it in front of you to frighten off the birds.
Meanwhile, Tolson is taking the situation in stride and has even developed some affection for Kevin and co.
“They kind of grow on you a little bit,” she told CBS Boston.