BOSTON (CBS) – What would you do if you came face-to-face with one or more menacing turkeys?
MassWildlife officials are offering some tips to the public as reports roll in about wild turkeys acting aggressively across the region.
The agency says turkeys “may attempt to dominate or attack people they view as subordinates.” This behavior is most common in the fall when young male birds start competing with elders of the flock, experts say.
So if you’re cornered by a belligerent bird, MassWildlife says it’s important to not let the turkey intimidate you.
“Residents can threaten a bold or aggressive turkey by making loud noises, swatting it with a broom, or spraying water from a hose,” their tip sheet says.
And man’s best friend can help too, as another tip notes that a leashed dog can ward off turkeys.
There are also a number of ways to prevent turkey attacks before they happen.
No. 1 on the list is to stop feeding turkeys because that can lead to bold and aggressive behavior.
“Once bold behavior is established, it can be very difficult to change,” MassWildlife says.
It’s also a good idea to take down bird feeders if your town is having turkey issues.
Turkeys can also respond aggressively to shiny objects like car windows, mirrors and polished car doors. MassWildlife recommends covering the reflection if possible.
Finally, experts say you should call police or animal control immediately if you think a turkey could be a public safety threat.