They arrived a few years ago — three-foot tall, bare-headed visitors that would occasionally stare intently at residents from their balconies and yards. The wild turkeys frankly unnerved some citizens of St-Sauveur, a picturesque town in the Laurentians region north of Montreal, says Jean Beaulieu, the town’s general manager. "They were in people’s yards, on their cars, and there were people who were scared to leave their homes because they can be aggressive, especially when they have their young," Beaulieu said in a phone interview. Once hunted near extinction, wild turkeys are an increasingly common sight in southern Quebec, thanks to warmer winters and a successful conservation and relocation program that has brought their numbers back from the brink. Residents report seeing the large, dark-coloured omnivorous birds perching on balconies, wandering through front lawns, and digging for seeds or insects on golf courses. But Beaulieu says despite the initial shock, few people in the town seem bothered anymore. "The first time you see them you’re surprised, because it’s pretty spectacular, the colour, the size, it’s a pretty big animal. But you get used to seeing them," he said, adding that the birds appear to have become more shy in […]


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