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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Best Davis Quirk: Turkeys attacking your car


In the quiet town of Davis, there exists a fairytale-like harmony — the birds chirp tunefully, the squirrels humbly beg for one of your chips and the otters are the trickiest hide-and-go-seekers there ever were.

Under all of this quiet wonder, however, gobbles a deep, dark and terrorful force: turkeys. Difficult to approach and sometimes unfriendly, turkeys roam around campus and downtown, often in packs known as rafters. If you find yourself in their presence, they may give you an aimless and possibly malicious stare. They might even pretend you are not there — really, the self-satisfied egos of turkeys. They must think of themselves as movie stars because too often do they turn our little town into a modern set for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

“I woke up one morning and looked out of my cul-de-sac-facing window to see about five turkeys walking down the street,” said Maddison Gurrola, a fifth-year nutritional science major. “Thinking nothing of it, I went about my morning routine. Walking out of the front door, I saw my neighbors house directly across the street, covered in turkeys. There must have been roughly 60 on this house, all over the roof and front yard.”

Worst of all is if they threaten you and your car. This is a known quirk of our town ever since a resident was antagonized by Downtown Tom, the legendary turkey that terrorized Davis in 2016.

“After getting in my car, this turkey started circling the car,” said Tony Toribio, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major. “I started my car and he went in front of me and prevented me from pulling forward. Then I went in reverse to avoid him and he ran behind my car and blocked that way. He was circling the car until another car showed up and distracted him. Once I could get away he turned around and chased me for another two blocks. At a stop sign, I lost the turkey for good when he began chasing a Unitrans bus.”

If this sounds like a scene from an upcoming Jurassic Park film, it may not surprise you to hear that velociraptors may have looked more like giant turkeys than dinosaurs. Stay safe out there.


Written by: Matt Marcure — science@theaggie.org


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