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The Secret to Deterring Bush Turkeys!

You’ll remember my tirades about bloody bush turkeys.  Well, all this time I have been trying to discourage them (or is it only one – they all look the same to me).  I have had success in preventing them from building a mound and have gotten a lot of exercise in the process!  But I have not yet managed to rid myself of them completely.

The most surprising thing is what was most effective in their deterrence.  Would you believe a big green rubbish bin?!

To explain:  In desperation I put all sorts of obstacles around the place to stop them scratching and nesting.  I put a fence around the mound so they couldn’t get in, then I disturbed the mound, then I put a silver tarpaulin over it.  All that helped, but didn’t stop them, and I had to admire their persistence.

Fence around mound and tarpaulin

Fence around mound and tarpaulin

Next I put down weed matting to stop them scratching on bare earth and mulch.  That worked too.  But they started scratching further into the garden and bringing earth and mulch from further away.

Fence halfway across the garden. Prevents “earth moving”.

So I put a fence through the garden dividing it in half.  That worked too.  But they found a new place to scratch!

So I put chicken wire on the ground as a barrier over which they could not scratch.  That worked too.

That only left the paddock next door and underneath the plumbago bushes – which I can’t fence.  I have managed to cut down a lot of weedy bushes in the paddock and use them as preventives to scratching, but, like I said, I have to admire the turkey.  They keep finding ways and places I haven’t seen.

My hero. Rubbish bin Man.

Anyway, one of the obstacles I used to deter scratching was my rubbish bin.  I put it over a place they like to scratch and also used it to create a barrier between the mound and they dirt they had scratched up for it.  It worked – but much better than I thought.

The first time I moved the bin was to have it emptied, and, since the turkey(s) hadn’t been active for a few days I thought my troubles were over and I put the bin back where it belongs.  Next day the turkey was back, scratching!  So I put the bin back in position again.  No turkey!

Coincidence?  Maybe.  Required further testing.  Which I did yesterday.  Took the bin out to the kerb and sure enough, this morning, turkey-lurkey was back.  I put the bin back in position and – no turkey!  At least, not near the mound – which it keeps desperately trying to get earth onto but cannot because of the fence.

So today I spent the day rushing in and out of the house chasing it away.  Finally, I got really smart and waited for it to return (a matter of a few minutes) and then shoed it away.  It got so that as soon as I moved a little it ran.  Then, I only had to stand still and when it caught sight of me, it ran.  Aha! Thought I.

For my next trick I got a pair of trousers and a white t shirt and put them on a coat hanger and hung them in a tree.  So far so good.  No turkey.  Hopefully the clothes will move with the breeze.

The turkey is still in the paddock next door, scratching, I can hear him (it’s the male that builds the nest) but he’s not in MY yard.

So, the big secret is a green rubbish bin.

The second good tactic is to train the turkey to fear you (not hard), then impersonate yourself with a scarecrow.

I would prefer that it end up in someone’s casserole because the damn things will breed whatever I do, and protected or not, they are a pest.  However, at least I can prevent my garden from becoming a breeding ground.  I have plans for when breeding season is over (December).

There is also some good that has come out of this.  The garden is well weeded.  Everything that can be uprooted, has been so I am now rid of a particularly virulent creeper.

I also have a wonderful mound of top soil that I can redistribute around the garden when the time is right.

And when the mound scratching time is over, I am going to plant the whole area with some grassy, shrubby things that the turkey has not been able to scratch up – lomandra.

What a shocking mess. This is bare earth covered with tree limbs and old creepers to deter scratching

Old tyre holding down chicken wire.

For an unusual tip, go to the comments section on Bush Turkeys, a Pest in the garden

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48 comments to The Secret to Deterring Bush Turkeys!

  • I hope you’d write more pieces. It’s positively worth reading.

  • Peter

    I had been looking for ways of discouraging brush turkeys for years, and at the suggestion of the late Rick Natrass, I placed a couple of standard wall mirrors up against trees, fence etc. Being very territorial, and not being over-endowed with brainpower, the male bird spent so much time chasing away the other male bird that he thought was usurping his territory, that he gave up in disgust, and moved away, to a new territory, I presume!

    Believe me it works, and there has been no attempts at mound-building for some years! However, I am now looking for a way of discouraging the female, who at the moment is demolishing the rest of my garden nightly in her endless search for whatever is tasty (for a turkey) among the mulch and leaf litter in my garden.

    Any more ideas?

  • kleverklikk

    I’m going to write another blog on this, so look in the tag cloud for “turkey” and find my next article.

  • We have developed an all natural solution that deters the Bush Turkey from building its mound. Simply splash over the mound and immediate area and the bird will give up and relocate. It is called Kings Bush Turkey Solution.

  • Lyall

    Citronella oil will keep them away

  • Chris

    I have found that simply putting a tarpaulin over a substantially built nest works very well. However is has to be kept there a few weeks otherwise the crafty bird will return to check that it’s still there and if not, continue with construction. After a while I can replace all the nice mulch purloined from around my fruit trees !

  • phil

    Great article; however I need to add to it. I have 2 green wheely bins in the yard and they use them to sit on whilst they terrorise my dogs and chickens. the turkeys aren’t bothering to nest, they are attacking our chickens and sending the neighbourhood dogs into a frenzy.
    We have been in our home for close to 20 years and until 6 months ago never had turkeys. This is an unfortunate result of a lot of development and little help from council and authorities with assistance in relocation, etc.

  • kleverklikk

    This is the first time I’ve heard of turkeys being aggressive! I agree it has a lot to do with the development of land for houses.

    My turkeys only arrived about 4 years ago. I think they were dumped here by operators who remove them (for money, at $250 per turkey) from nearby “wealthy” suburbs and dump them in our “poor” suburb which has plenty of undeveloped bushland.

    Turkeys are a protected species and only licensed operators are allowed to remove them. They must also be released no more than 25ks away from their original site. Our suburb is lovely and close to the suburbs that can afford removal! My theory is that that is how those bloodly pests have arrived in my yard.

    Legal or not, the best deterrent I have found so far is a slingshot. Any turkeys that come into my yard are “trained” to run very fast as soon as they hear a window being opened (because they know this will be followed by a sharp sting from a puzzling source).

  • Sera

    Wow thank you! I am going to put our bin out there now. We have not stopped chasing this turkey for over a fortnight now. We ran out of ideas until I just read this. Once December arrives, we too will be planting in that area so there is no more mound/nest. Your blog is insightful and very relevant! I hope others are also aided by your information. Thank you again from myself and my partner 🙂

  • kleverklikk

    By now you will have tried the rubbish bin idea. It did help for a while but they are extremely persistent and nothing actually deters them.

    What has finally worked for me is to put chicken wire on the ground where they are trying to scratch a mound. I have had to use a LOT of chicken wire and cover a very large area so that they can’t scratch up the soil into a mound.

    The other thing you have to do is cover the area where they want to build a mound so that it is shaded. Bush turkeys are very very fussy about the amount of sun and shade the mound will get. So if you shade the mound they won’t build there. I have built a sort of tent with a tarpaulin over the mound. It is important not to just lay it flat on the ground – they will just scratch dirt over the top of the tarpaulin!!! You have to put a pole in the middle and then anchor the tarpaulin on the ground – just like a tent. Then they can’t scratch dirt over the ‘tent’ or under it.

    I’ve always wanted to try a large beach umbrella to see if that would deter them (because of the shade it casts) but have never had the chance – plus where they want to build the mound in my yard there isn’t really room.

    You can also buy motion detecting sprinklers which will come on when something moves near them. Turkeys hate sprinklers. The sprinklers are available on the internet. I think they would be good – also to keep cats away if you have that problem.

    Anyway, so far so good. I have been fighting them now for 4 years. I thought they might be washed away in the flood – but no. They’re survivors. I read that you have to keep them away for 3 years for them to finally stop being drawn to a site.

    Best long term deterrent is to grow shady trees and spiky shrubs and use lots of chicken wire. Either that or just bow to the pressure. I also use a slingshot – which is quite fun. They RUN when they see me coming!


  • GrannyMab

    I am having a dreadful time with bush turkeys. I remove everything that would encourage them to build a nest, but the major problem is that they repeatedly pull all the plants out of their pots. Not seedlings, large potplants and destroy them. Any suggestfions?


  • kleverklikk

    Well, this is a new one on me.

    Are you sure it is turkeys? I ask because I also have bandicoots and, now that it is so dry, they will dig up anything that is moist and cool
    looking for their food, (which I think is worms).

    If it is really turkeys the best advice I have is to cover the plants with chicken wire. Either right over the top of the plant depending on height or put it around the roots of the plant. Chicken wire seems to deter them.

    Perhaps they are still trying to build a nest? Even though you have removed everything else, there is still your lovely loose pot plant material.

    If they are still trying to build a nest, and if you know where it is, shade the area with a big beach umbrella close to the ground. They only build a nest where conditions are perfect – perfect shade, perfect sun, perfect accessibility.

    You will NEVER prevent them building a nest (not for years and years) if
    they have found a perfect spot. It is a biological imperative – they CANNOT stop building. I have successfully prevented their nest building for 4 years – and they still come and check out the spot and try to build there.

    So the only prevention is to alter the perfect spot to an imperfect one.

    They also hate sprinklers. You can buy motion detection sprinklers online – however, this could be an expensive solution – depends how desperate you are.

    Ya gotta love ’em.

  • What truly inspired you to publish “The Secret to Deterring Bush Turkeys!
    | Baby Boomer Lifestyle and Health Club”?
    I reallytruly liked the blog post! Thank you ,Chelsea

  • Forest

    I have been following your blog all week. My. Neighbour & I have been terrorised by turkey’s all week, they have always been around but have just decided to build a mound on my neighbours property & have scratched her herb garden & pots every night this past week. Each day we have cleaned the mess & chased the blighters at every opportunity . Yesterday I came up with the idea of covering the mound with heaps of Palm fronds & the rough leaves from a Norfolk Pine. We have heaps of both. Holding thumbs, no sign of a turkey all day?! Will keep you posted

  • kleverklikk

    What truly inspired me was the turkeys themselves. I tried to find information on the internet on how to deter them. The only thing I found out is that it is illegal (yes illegal) to deter them. According to some wildlife protection law you are supposed to let them destroy everything you have worked for in your garden, all the money you have spent on plants and mulch, all the hours of sweat, all the vegies you hoped to harvest – everything is ‘theirs’. The only thing you get to do on your property is pay the rates and keep the fire risk down!

    So I figured there must be others who are looking for information on what to do to get the turkeys to move elsewhere.

    I hope your idea is successful so I am also keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    My most successful idea is to shade the area where they want to build. The mound position has to be ‘just right’. And what makes it ‘just right’? The position of the sun! So if you shade the mound they will probably get discouraged and move somewhere else. Best way to shade is via a big movable beach umbrella or tarbaulin.

    Someone else wrote to me to say that they tried my trick of a big green garbage bin on the site. That moved them on too.

  • kleverklikk

    Good luck with the Norfolk Pine. I tried covering the mound with branches too, but they just put more dirt on the top of them. It just helped them build a bigger mound!

    Good trick is to cover all beds and pots with chicken wire – looks hideous but works – so they can’t scratch.

    Also, try covering the mound site with shade via a big, huge, beach umbrella or tarpaulin. If you use a tarpaulin keep it up off the ground a bit or they will just scratch dirt over the top.

    Chasing them does not work. They don’t like sprinklers and you can buy motion activated sprinklers on line – but other things will activate them too. Like birds and cats.

    Unless you remove them physically you are stuck with them now. I have been battling for 5 years now and although they can’t build a mound anymore (due to encroaching bush changing their preferred site) I haven’t discouraged them from scratching. I’m afraid death or relocation are your only options. And death is illegal in the turkey/human world.

  • Forest

    Well, two days now, they have disappeared, only seen one yesterday sizing up the chook food, yes we share 8 chooks with another neighbour. I think we may be on a winner with the palm fronds. Birds are amazing, I lived in South Africa for a time & we had a big oak tree in our front garden, the poor male used to build these amazing nests & the female would come in & reject his masterpiece, this would happen five or six times until the lady was eventually pleased with his handy work. I think we may have something similar going on with these pesky turkeys. If I was a lady turkey I wouldn’t want to be putting my butt down to lay eggs o a bunch of Palm fronds & rough old Norfolk Pine leaves. Before all the greenies come out, we live on an area with heaps, I’m talking heaps of green space so it’s not as though they don’t have a place to go. I think I’m on a winner here , Palm fronds is the way to go!!!

  • Forest

    Sorry, I missed an important piece in my previous blog , the birds in South Africa were Weaver Birds, amazing creatures, google Weaver Bird nest, the most intricate construction you have ever seen. Didn’t want you to think turkey’s in South Africa were building mounds up in Oak Trees. That wouldn’t happen, not even in South Africa.

  • blue

    we have this problem they have only became a pest now there is 4 of them. we will get some chicken wire and line the backyard, i hope it will work, i think they only come down from the hill looking for food. They have messed with the plants more than once now 🙁

  • Catequil

    The busk turkey is the animal equivalent of a machine and you need a machine to beat them. Not only the male nest builders but also the females foraging and destroying the veggie patch. The best I have found are the motion sensitive sprays sold on Amazon – Sentinel I think they were called. They will protect valuable areas of garden and I am surprised that no one has advanced the application to give wider coverage but these have been great for me and more importantly my blood pressure.

  • ann,g

    We have a pesky bush turkey that”adopted” us a young bird ,it happily followed our chickens around unknown to us until today h’es started attacking our girls drawing blood they are terrified and I’m over it I can deal with garden damage hes likes sorrel and flowers so know the girls are locked up & hes trying to break into there pen, suggestions please ,

  • I’m in an rural area and the bush turkey I’m over it i have 3 here. I have planted out 1 acre of stock tube plants, and every day i go and check, only to find out over night they have dug them out. So I put sticks around the plants to try and deter them as well as bags, tyres and it will not stop them. Is there anyone in the wide bay burnett area that will come out to trap them and remove them to another location?

  • kleverklikk

    I discovered on Tuesday (when I had a snake in my bathroom!) that Wildlife, Qld (private organisation, Google it) will take away bush turkeys for $180.00. Rather a lot of money, however, it turns out that you only need to remove the male and females will go elsewhere. It’s not clear to me where they will go but they will at least stop building a nest.
    I think this is probably a good solution however, what’s to stop the next-in-line male turkey from taking over?

    I think that we need to start a movement to have the turkeys culled in residential areas. They have grown too numerous and destructive. Apparently 12 years ago (2002) a study found that they would become ‘endangered’. Hah! fat chance. Now they have grown to plague proportions and are a pest and danger to pets and chooks in the suburbs.
    The only deterrent to them digging that I have found is to put chicken wire on the ground around the plants i.e. give them a wide ‘collar’ of chicken wire, or even give them a ‘house’ of chicken wire. I have given up planting a proper garden. If the turkeys don’t get the plants, the bandicoots do. But I do have a lovely view of the bush so I guess it’s a compromise.

  • Susan

    After trying many strategies I erected a fairly loose netting fence – not very high (can step over it) – around the boundary, and strung twisted flash tape loosely along the edges. I also criss-crossed the tape over the patch. The flash tape shimmers in the wind and sun. After reading comments about mirrors, I added a couple of mirrors, but the flash tape and mesh barriers seem to have done the trick. The mesh won’t keep them out of course, but seems to confuse them a little by breaking up the area visually, in conjunction with the flash tape (available from Green Harvest in Maleny).

  • Melissa smith

    Hi we have moved to the beach where there are lots of nesting bush turkeys. I have a cat, I’m so worried about him catching a baby turkey. What can I do. I have 2 bells on him. And he gets locked in on sundown. Today a baby came into our yard, my cat caught it didn’t harm it thank goodness. He let it go and I caught it and relocated it to another part of the bushland on the beach. I’ve tried locking the cat in permanently, however after two weeks of constant howling day and night and losing my mind this doesn’t seem to be an option. What else can I do? The baby didn’t seem to be able to fly yet.

  • peter

    At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, what do you have against these brush turkeys? It’s not as if you have a picturesque garden that has to be preserved; indeed you seem to find an old tyre, rolls of chicken wire, dead creeper on your garden bed and lomandra(!) preferable to the wildlife. Think yourself lucky that you have something most people don’t. These are great birds with tremendous character. Just enjoy them.

  • Kaen

    They have obviously evolved mine fly and Climb ! 3 of them they get up on the roof of the garage and the fence and jump down into what was a beautiful passionfruit vine covering my neighbours ugly fence. They have no fear of anything and are destroying my garden and driving me nuts.

  • Meg

    Bins don’t work, they just push the dirt up and around. I currently have four bins, two crates, a ladder, two tarps, a room divider, the base of a fold up bed, and chicken wire all strategically placed and guess what?-they’re baaack! It is driving me nuts. I have now chopped down some small shrubs and piled those on top of the mound, and sprinkled some tiger balm on the area hoping it will deter them! I think I’m going to be called the crazy lady down the lane at the rate I’m going. Relocation might be the answer for me if I’m to keep my sanity.

  • Betty Robinson

    Thank you all for your great suggestions. So far this season I am up to deconstructing my 8th mound. If nothing else it gives me plenty of exercise. I’ve tried the chicken wire – worked last year but I suspect the bird have smartened up – they cover it with leaves etc and just keep on piling. I wouldn’t mind so much if it didn’t all end up being kicked into in my courtyard.

  • kleverklikk

    I think the most successful thing is to shade the area where they want to build the mound. The eggs need sun to warm them. If you shade it so that no sun reaches the mound, ever, then the birds will find somewhere else to build. Use a beach umbrella. I used an old sheet, tied at four corners and suspended from the fence and a couple of stakes in the ground. It doesn’t have to be sturdy, just shady.

  • Hi I am so delighted I found your site, I really found you by mistake, while I was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the great work.

  • OverTheseTurkeys

    It was really awesome to come across this article. I feel for all of you having turkey issues. I’ve lived in a Mountainous Rainforest for 25 years, they’ve always been native, but the past 2-3 years and particularly the last 1-2 they have like tripled in numbers (Presumably from development around the West Gold Coast??. It was great to find some suggestions that may help solve this invasion. They are trashing my garden, and for some reason they LOVE succulents, they literally tear them to pieces and don’t miss a bit. I’m so over it! I even had one walk through the sliding door while I was sitting at the table and waltz over and start picking at the rubbish bin :O. Chased him out fast. lol

  • Erica tomkins

    We have lived in the bush for over 8 years now….and have been dealing with a very persistent Turkey….named Ralph……for the first few years he was quite ok….but now he is totally over the top…..pecks on the glass door….windows….poops on the verandah…..etc…etc….jumps on the table on the verandah…..goes into the laundry and causes havoc…..we don’t mind his mound….which is down in the bush…..but his intrusive behaviour is driving us nuts……and yes we have made a sling shot…..and this is scaring him away somewhat….

  • Erica

    Yes we have one who has become a real pain…jumping up on verandah furniture….causing havoc….pooping everywhere…..but we scare him off now with a slingshot….he gets the message!!!

  • Trina

    Thank you for all the advice, who would have thought Bush Turkeys would love the Gold Coast. After reading all your suggestions I think I will give up and wait till late Jan and try to combat next year- I’m exhausted!!

  • Leni

    Whilst the turkeys sometimes can annoy me, I try to think how I would feel living in a place with very little wild life. I prefer the turkeys to a sterile environment. It’s a matter of how you condition yourself to think. One option is raised beds. It doesn’t bother me if people deter them from their garden, however, it seems to me that we have moved on from the old days of ‘shoot it if it moves’… etc. One can see how wildlife is not ‘convenient’ in some styles of garden, and I do sympathize when one has worked for a particular result to have it messed up by naughty old turkeys. But really, it is not the worst problem in the world. Our back corner has been raked over by the local boss turkey over spring/summer, and now there is a mound and a ‘moonscape’. Fortunately for us, this area was under a large tree and we don’t try to cultivate there. What I’m thinking of doing is using the mound material once turkey is done for the season, putting it into a raised bed as I saw on gardening australia that it is good compost. Next year, we may build something in the back corner that will probably deter turkey, but for the time being, a cute little chick has peeked at me from under a bush and I don’t mind such encounters. Totally agree though that local council authorities could help facilitate transfer of turkeys (and possums) after development has rendered their old territory out of bounds as we all have to deal with these protected creatures.

  • Di

    I live in an inner suburb with a good size block. Over the years the trees have reached considerable size and we have wildlife due to habitat.I’ve given up on exotic species and only plant natives, protected in early growth phases with sticks, as they dont get ruined by large bugs or birds.I have just spent the morning watching our bush turkey systematically shift leaf litter across our yard to his mound which was my compost heap. I love having wildlife in my back yard…seriously better than chicken wire, scarecrows and bins, despite the modifications to move away from the traditional colonial garden I’ve dreamt of.The leaf litter shifting has meant disturbed insects and excellant feeding for the butcher bird family. We are not pestered by indonesian minors but do have visits from native minors, curlews, the occasional cockatoo and parrots. Our tawny frogmouths are in residence also. The dog has learnt to avoid the turkeys after a couple of blood letting (the dog not the bird) incidents, the cat has never been capable of catching anything (she would have died in the wild from starvation)and primarily inhabits the front yard during the day and we have moved the veggie patch to raised beds into the front yard so you can pick basil as you approach the front door. I am resisting pleas for chooks from my own brood due to the thought of rats and snakes, let alone the bush turkeys. We have had a lot of clearing of blocks around us by developers over the years and our yard, for a while, became a transit lounge for pythons. We have had none for awhile and what it tells me is that inner city wildlife is depleted of predators…with the pythons we did not have a bush turkey problem. My suggestion for what its worth….live with the turkeys and dont bother fighting them or getting upset…or… get a python.I’m more concerned about the canetoads.

  • Jean Phillips

    OK, I have not read all the reviews but I have a beautiful garden which took many years to establish which includes a 4m x 4m bali hut. The bush turkeys live on the property behind mine and they have ruined the thatching of my Bali Hut. The cost to repair just the 4 corners is $1400.00. I have contacted the wild life people and they don’t care, as don’t the council or the RSPCA. Which leaves me with what choice. and oh by the way we were given a number to get the bush turkeys out and it would cost a ridiculous amount of about $300 per turkey. There has got to be a way where someone is responsible. We live in a residentual area.

  • Michael

    We had a persistent turkey problem (destroying plants and creating a real mess in the garden but particularly the mulch heap – a great ready made mound!).
    First I tried enclosing the problem area with bird net which worked to an extent but they still managed to get in. (fine weave black, normally used over grapes.) Small garden areas could be covered with pegged down bird net on or just under the ground and that worked there to stop them digging. That black fine net is invisible when the plants grow back through it.
    Next I used the bird net to create no-fly-zones where they jumped the fence for a quick get-away. Turkey runs, tries to fly over the fence and – crash! Apparently that stuff is too fine for them to think of as a problem – but it is very strong. Then just harass the bird so it thinks you are going to make turkey soup. The end result is a stressed and panicking bird that eventually escapes after a few more crashes – but then even his thick little brain associates that area with DANGER….
    At the same time we were given a large standing owl statue (quite realistic) that was put on the ground near the mulch heap.
    So – not certain if it was the no-fly-zone or the scary owl (that would eat chicks) but they never came back. See what happens next year.

  • Lorraine

    I have a pesky bird visiting my garden and after spending time researching, I’ve had some success this morning, be it all of 1 day! Yesterday afternoon I ran a string line across the back yard (opens on to a creek reserve), about 50cm off the ground, and hung pink and purple curly gift wrap at intervals of 80-100cm so it almost touched the ground. Being light and curly, it moves easily in the breeze.

    This morning I spotted THE bird in the creek reserve. He approached the string and pecked at the pink gift wrap a couple of times BUT he did not cross under the string. Fingers crossed :-))

  • Jean Phillips – Try covering your Bali Hut with wire mesh. They bush turkeys won’t be able to scratch at it. They do this in South Africa to stop the monkeys and baboons from destroying Thatched homes. I thought of this too late and they had already destroyed our thatch, which we then changed to a slate tile. It will take some time and effort – to fold it around the edges and secure it but worth it.

  • Larissa

    Do you have any tips to stop them from roosting in a high gum tree above our car space? Every morning we face a car covered in droppings.

  • Lily

    After 20 years of living on small acreage and trying EVERY way possible to deter turkeys, I gave up on any hope of growing anything. Four years later I am even more broken by what the turkeys have done over the years and the thought of all of the years of hard work and money wasted because of the damage they did – not to mention not being able to enjoy my own property. But what I found most aggravating were ‘friends’ laughing at my distress and saying, “Well, they WERE there first and they are native.” More galling is the fact that if native termites attacked their house, they would be the first to call in the exterminators. There would be no contemplation of the thought the termites were native and here first – and any suggestion of that viewpoint by me in a laughing tone would not be welcome. Very selective recognition about the wonders of native ‘wildlife’ in your own backyard …

  • kleverklikk

    I don’t really have anything legal to tell you (you know they are protected right?). I have found slingshots useful for many things. I guess cutting down the tree is not an option. You could try shining a spotlight on the tree (before dusk)so that it is too light to rest in – after all, they want to sleep in the dark.

    And finally – if you can’t beat ’em, and you don’t want to join ’em, how about a car cover?

    Probably not very helpful, sorry but at least you know I’m listening and heartfelt-ly sympathising.

  • Roger

    I’ve finally got the solution to stopping brush turkeys from roosting in a tree overhanging our back deck and then pooing copiously every night.
    A group of about 8 turkeys call our (and neighbours) backyard home. The garden is native, so scratching around in the undergrowth is no problem. But the night time roosting in this particular tree is.

    They seem to like to roost over an open space (I guess so they can see any potential predator?) and are creatures of habit, so very hard to move on once they have settled on a ‘good’ roosting spot.
    First tried lights (spot light pointing straight up) on a timer to come on at dusk for a couple of hours – worked for a while, but then they just decided to come back and ignore the light.
    Second, I tried a sling shot, but the roost is 20m up and accuracy and was a problem. (maybe also neighbour’s windows!)
    Then I even bought a drone to scare them away from the tree at dusk! Also worked for a short while but then I got the drone stuck in the tree.
    Finally I got the tree man to climb up the and mount a pulley and long light line close to their roosting spot. I can now haul up a hose and give them what for with a water spray once they have settled.
    Hey presto they have moved on to some other trees back in the bush.

  • Keith

    Does anyone know what time of day bush turkeys come into the garden to dig, etc ? I have just built a new veggie garden in my back yard (rural, bush property) and planted some seedlings, all of which are now being dug up by the local BT’s! I think there are 2 at present. I don’t know where their mound is. Has anyone used an electric 12 volt wire fence to keep BT’s out of their veggie patches? Any help please!?

  • kleverklikk

    Hello Keith

    Thank you for leaving a comment on the bush turkey problem on the Baby Boomers site.
    The trouble with electric fences would be that those damn birds can fly!
    The only solution that I have seen is to completely enclose your vegie garden – including a roof. Expensive, but once it’s done it’s done forever.
    I have seen bush turkeys get into chicken yards surrounded by a high fence. What those turkeys do is to ‘climb’ up a tree and then fly down into the chicken yard (because they can’t fly high enough to fly over an 10m fence – hence the need for a roof on your vegie garden as well).

    One comment you might find useful is one about the use of teddy bears!

    You have all my sympathy.

    My problem was finally solved by a developer buying the bushland next to me and destroying all the natural cover for those damn birds! On the whole, if I had a choice, I would have preferred the birds.

    Thanks for writing.

  • Michael

    The best way other than shooting these pests is to scatter coffee in the areas you don’t want them. Your local café may give you the discarded coffee from their machines.

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