The turkeys are here, and Boulder residents should be thankful.
A trio of turkeys have apparently claimed Boulder as their turf, and more of the wild birds have been spotted in other parts of the Front Range, something wildlife officials said is actually a sign of a healthy ecosystem.
"Turkeys seem to be doing really well," said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill. "Them showing up in Boulder and Loveland is a sign that we have good habitat, and that's a real positive."
Turkeys prefer riparian habitats, which mean they usually stick to areas around creeks and tributaries. But Churchill said they can wander from their roosts during the day.
Churchill said there have been reports of wild turkeys in both Boulder County and Weld County. In Boulder County, most of the sightings appear to involve a trio of turkeys who have been wandering around east Boulder.
The Boulder County Sheriff's Office posted a video of the turkeys patrolling the parking lot around the post office at 55th and Valmont on Feb. 23, and three were also spotted the next day at the Daily Camera offices at 55th and Flatiron Parkway.
There have also been numerous scanner calls aired involving reports of the turkeys stopping traffic.
"We've been hearing about them for a month or so," said Boulder police animal control Officer Taylor Barnes. "They're just doing their thing."
Sam Zwirko works for an HVAC company and came across the trio while he was on a job near 55th and Central in February.
"I had gone down to my van to get a part, and out of the corner of my eye I see a huge, brown, velociraptor-type-looking bird," Zwirko said. "They came right up to me, probably looking for food."
Zwirko said he's heard from coworkers that the trio can often be spotted near the intersection of 95th Street and Valmont Road, and there have also been calls about the turkeys being spotted at 75th Street and Valmont. Zwirko is from Massachusetts and is used to seeing wild turkeys, but said other people in the building clearly were not.
"The turkeys traveled to the entrance of the building, and almost seemed like they wanted to go inside," Zwirko said. "Then employees started coming out of the building all excited, because they had no idea what kind of animals they were."
Churchill said there were some reports of "turkey conflicts" in Greeley, where people became uncomfortable with turkeys following them around. Earlier this week in Loveland, a few turkeys temporarily took over a neighborhood, entering garages and hopping up on the roof of an SUV.
But Churchill said people who think any gang of gobblers are getting a little too close for comfort can clap their hands or shout to scare them away.
"Please don't hurt the turkeys, but if they are making you feel uncomfortable, you can try to chase them off," Churchill said. "But otherwise, just enjoy the chance to see a turkey."