No table for Hawkeye turkey this Thanksgiving

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No table for Hawkeye turkey this Thanksgiving

Janell Bradley
Contributing Writer

    As area residents pre-pare to feast this Thursday, gathering at tables where turkey will be carved, Hawkeye appears to have pardoned a bird they call “Mr. Turkey.”
    As turkeys go, she's a little messy. She also helps herself to food at the homes of strangers, but residents here admit that she's won their hearts and won't end up on anyone's dinner table. That's even though her van-ity has her pecking at the glass of the church and leaving behind a calling card.
    The wild turkey has called the neighborhood around Trinity Lutheran Church its home for several years.
    Dorothy Bowers, who lives just north of the church on Burrell Street, said the turkey has been around for two to three years. "He was here last summer. Then I didn't see him, but he was back this spring."
    No one seems to know for sure if the bird is a tom or a hen, but the absence of a beard would suggest “Mr. Turkey” might actually be “Ms. Turkey.” However, no one has seen the bird on a nest of eggs, nor has it ever been accompanied by young birds or even a companion.
    Like most in the neigh-borhood, Bowers looks for-ward to seeing the turkey under her bird feeders nearly every afternoon, cleaning up shells and seeds the birds have left behind.
    Merv Ungerer, who lives a few houses away, said he's seen the turkey in every season, or at least the bird's turkey tracks in the snow up around the church, which seems to be one of the bird's favorite haunts.
    "He follows me around awfully close - close enough I could almost touch him," Ungerer said.
    Also on the bird's radar are the feeders in Wayne and Linda Schroeder's yard, where Mr. or Ms. Turkey spends a good part of the day.
    Locals believe the tur-key roosts in area trees when it isn't dodging traffic at the busy intersection of Wilbur and Burrell streets.
    "It's not everybody that has a turkey in their town," admitted Bowers with pride.
    Indeed. And no one seems to know why this tur-key prefers grazing in town amongst humans, rather than with birds of a similar feather.

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