It’s the time of year where folks talk a lot of turkey - as in holiday meals - but there are also the turkeys that call New York City home.
"A lot of people wouldn’t think that but here throughout the Bronx and the Bronx Park, here at Van Cortlandt, at Pelham Bay Park, we do have have wild turkeys," says Sgt. Adriana Caminero, an NYC Parks urban park ranger
That would be the eastern wild turkey, sometimes called the Forest Turkey. It’s not the domestic turkey many of us will eat on Thanksgiving, but a sub-species.
"They would have been the ones that the pilgrims and the native Americans did hunt, back when that was the first Thanksgiving," Caminero said.
Now I’ve seen plenty of wild turkeys on Staten Island, where the population has grown over the years. But could I find one in the Bronx? I started in the 1100-acre Van Cortlandt Park, walking beside the famous cross country trails.
No luck - even using a Turkey call on my phone.
My quest then took me to Pelham Bay Park, also at the top of The Bronx. At 2700 acres, it’s the city’s largest park. So finding a turkey inside - it’s three times as big as Central Park - shouldn’t be a problem, right?
At one point I thought I had finally tracked one down. But it was actually a statue of a peacock.
I moved my search to the Pelham Bay golf course, where I had heard turkeys sometimes hung out. But no luck there.
After two parks, two golf courses, and Woodlawn Cemetery - where a splendid bird was spotted but not by me - I had to go home.
Oh well, better luck next time.