In a funny video filmed in Litchfield, New Hampshire by Donald Pomerleau last week, a fearless turkey is seen acting as a crossing guard in the middle of a two-lane road, stopping traffic so his fellow feathered friends can cross safely. After all the birds had made it across the road, the impromptu crossing guard left his post and joined them.
Pomerleau, who was sitting in his car at the time, captured this hilarious moment, which has gone on to become a viral sensation. The video already has nearly 220,000 views on YouTube.
Litchfield, a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, has a population of 8,502. The town has several conservation areas, including Moore's Falls, Parker Park, and Stage Crossing, which are managed by the Litchfield Conservation Commission, which oversees the preservation and proper utilization of natural resources in town. The conservation commission established four trails last August on the roughly 84 acre Birch Street property, which was purchased in 2015 and is known as "Fallen Birch Conservation Area."
Nowadays, turkeys are relatively common in New Hampshire, though 150 years ago they had virtually disappeared due to loss of habitat and the lack of a fish and game department to regulate hunting seasons. Officials began transplanting wild turkeys into the state in 1969, though this effort failed. They tried again and succeeded in 1975. Today, there are upwards of 25,000 birds, which are present in every county in New Hampshire.
The turkeys seen in Litchfield by Pomerleau were undoubtedly foraging since they tend to do so in flocks. They primarily feed on corns, beechnuts, cherries, and ash seeds, though in winter, they subsist on fern stalks, waste corn, and fruits such as barberry, rose hips, and dried apples. Occasionally, they can be aggressive towards humans, especially in areas where woodland habitats are limited. Turkeys have also been known to chase humans, though attacks can usually be prevented by giving them a respectful amount of space.
Viewers who saw the video counted 11 turkeys in the group and believed the one acting as a crossing guard was a male. According to the Cornell University website, “flocks of young males or a dominant male with his harem of females may number several dozen or more.” Considering there were only 10 females in this group, the male was apparently having a slow day.