Hernando county Neighborhoods Love Their Wild Turkeys
These neighborhoods love their featheriest neighbors.
Everyone has different reasons for loving their neighborhood. For some neighbors, it’s the beloved small businesses or spirit of community involvement. For others, it’s wildlife, right out their back door. In some neighborhoods, the wildlife locals love the most are wild turkeys, strutting down their streets and gobblin’ through their backyards.
Do you love to see 25-pound birds out your window? The Osceola Wild Turkey was named after the famous Seminole Chief Osceola in 1890 and can be found only in Florida. These wild turkeys thrive in open terrain of longleaf pine forests, oaks and grasslands habitats.
Wild turkeys were once abundant in Florida. In 1860, it was estimated that there were more turkeys than humans. Wild turkey populations declined throughout the country due to over harvesting and habitat loss, but populations remained healthy in Florida- due to the area's inhospitable environment.
However, Florida turkey populations also began to decline in the 20th century due to increased development.
From 1949 through 1970, over 5,000 wild turkeys were trapped, banded and released into suitable habitats throughout Florida. Since then, habitat management and protection have become a primary focus for maintaining or improving Florida’s turkey population.