Around Wine Country

Take the Family on a Wild Turkey Tour

November 07, 2016

This Thanksgiving, give your family the best of both worlds: a posh staycation at the Marcus Whitman and a chance to “rough it” with an adventure walk to spot wild turkeys. The foot path that runs along Mill Creek from the Eastgate Lions Park is an ideal setting for viewing these birds, and the valley's wild turkey population is booming. 

Introduced in the area at the foot of the Blue Mountains in the 1950s, the first birds were eastern turkey species, and did not survive the cooler climate. The Department of Fish and Game tried again in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s, this time bringing in wild turkeys from Texas known as Rios, or the Rio Grande. These efforts were successful: the birds flourished and now thrive throughout the region.

Challenge the kids to see how many they can find – turkeys often form large flocks and will frequently align themselves in long, single-file rows. Happy Thanksgiving, and happy turkey-watching!