Wild turkeys menace town with power outages

MEDFORD, Ore. — A flock of wild turkeys, long considered menaces to one Oregon town, have sparked new ire after causing power outages in the eastern part of Medford.

The Mail Tribune reports that wild turkeys flying into Pacific Power Lines have been responsible for four morning outages in the last month, each time cutting off power for more than 1,600 residents and businesses.

Pacific Power spokesman Monte Mendenhall says the outages are definitely caused by the turkeys, though it's unclear how the utility will resolve the issue.

Unlike in rural areas, it is illegal to shoot or hunt within Medford's city limits. And trapping turkeys is thought to be difficult and time consuming.

Wisdom the Laysan albatross is the world’s oldest known seabird.
Wisdom the Laysan albatross is the world's oldest known seabird. (Dan Clark / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

State wildlife biologists say the power outages are a new symptom of the old problem of people feeding turkeys, allowing them to establish urban flocks.

66-year-old albatross not too old to get knocked up

HONOLULU — The world's oldest known seabird is expecting — again.

Biologists spotted the Laysan albatross called Wisdom at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge earlier this month after she returned to the island to nest.

She was incubating an egg at the same nest she uses each year with her mate. She's believed to be 66 years old. She's also the world's oldest known breeding bird in the wild.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's project leader for the refuge, Bob Peyton, said in a statement Friday that Wisdom has been returning to Midway for over six decades.


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An ornithologist first put an identification band on her in 1956. She's had a few dozen chicks.

Midway is about 1,200 miles northwest of Honolulu. It's part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Associated Press