HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Have you seen Big Bird -- not the yellow Sesame Street character, but a large wild turkey? The Pennsylvania Game Commission wants to know.
The annual Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Sighting Survey has opened and runs through Aug. 31. The public is asked to report turkey sightings this summer.
“Participation is important for turkey population management,” said Travis Lau, spokesperson, state Game Commission. “Survey data allows the agency to determine total wild turkey productivity.”
Data collected also allows for a comparison of “long-term reproductive success” within the state, he said.
“This is a standard methodology used across the country” said Lau. “Data also are used in the turkey population model to track population trends.”
Turkey sightings areto be reported through the Game Commission’s website – pgcdatacollection.pa.gov/TurkeyBroodSurvey.
“The agency recommends saving this link to your favorites for quick access to report turkey sightings,” said Lau. The mobile app is no longer available.”
On the website, participants are asked to report the number of wild turkeys seen, as well as the county and township where spotted, the wildlife management unit (WMU), the date and contact information if agency biologists have a question.
“The turkey survey enhances our agency’s internal survey, which serves as a long-term index of turkey reproduction and is used in our turkey population model,” said Game Commission Turkey Biologist Mary Jo Casalena. “Participants should report all turkeys seen, whether gobblers, hens with broods, or hens without broods.”
Many factors, including spring weather, habitat conditions, previous winter food abundance, predation and last fall’s harvest affect wild turkey productivity.
(This is a different kind of turkey hunting, isn’t it?)