CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Turkey sightings are on the rise in New Hampshire, possibly because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said results from its 2020 winter survey reflect 2,309 flocks totaling 40,476 turkeys statewide. That was more than four times as many turkeys counted in 2019 and twice as many as reported in 2018.

“With many people spending more time at home last winter, there was an increase in backyard bird feeding as well as bird watching, which may have contributed to the uptick in reports,” said Allison Keating, a state turkey biologist.

More than 46,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including more than 1,300 confirmed cases announced Sunday that include numbers for several days. Eleven additional deaths were announced, bringing the total to 780.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 766 new cases per day on Dec. 19 to 750 new cases per day on Jan. 2.

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