'Fowl play' in Windsor, Ont., as turkeys roam the streets

Why did the turkey cross the road? 

It's a question being asked more often in Windsor, Ont., as the big-bodied birds have begun popping up around the city in recent months, causing 'fowl' moods on the University of Windsor campus as they stalled traffic by walking in the middle of the road.

"Turkeys roam wild and free through the city of Windsor," said naturalist Karen Cedar. "At this time of year you'll often see the males fanning out their tails and strutting around showing off for all the females and that can be a bit of a traffic-stopper."

Andy Breschuk has captured several of the urban turkeys on camera. The typically wild animals have seemed a bit out of their element with Detroit's glittering skyline in the background.

On Friday, he bumped into an especially bold bird on Glengarry Avenue next to Caesars Windsor.

"I thought 'Boy, this is odd,' [the turkey] was walking right by so maybe he's been around for a while," said Breschuk. "It was just on the side of the road, eating and pecking."

A turkey's diet can consist of everything from berries to baby turtles and snakes, according to Cedar.

Combine that with their only typical predators in the area being coyotes and cars, and a turkey is bound to spread its wings a bit.

Essex Region Conservation Authority biologist Dan Lebedyk said turkeys typically prefer to stick to the country to avoid people, but cautioned drivers to be careful around the new city-savvy breed that seems to be moving in.

"They can get as big as your typical grocery store turkey," he joked, adding that doesn't include the feathers.

"Please don't assume they're going to get out of the way because for the most part they may just stay there."