Turkeys thriving on Long Island

Chip Hamilton with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has kept a close eye on the birds over the past decade. He says the return of the turkey continues to trend upward on Long Island. 

It started with a trap and transfer project. 75 turkeys were brought to Long Island from upstate New York and Pennsylvania back in the 80s. Now it's estimated there are close to 6,000. 

"I feel like our population size is conservative," Hamilton said. "Having another data set helps us make better scientific decisions."

When it comes to hunting, right now Long Island has a fall and limited youth spring season. The goal is to establish a full spring season like in other parts of New York. In order to do that, the DEC wants to make sure the population is plentiful. 

"We're asking for the public to go out and count how many turkeys they see," he said. "It can be on their way to work, when they're recreating with family and friends. Just count the number of birds - whether it's adults, adults with young and submit it to the website."

It's said turkeys can turn up as far west as Muttontown and as far east as Montauk. A hen can lay anywhere between 10 and 15 eggs. The weather - specifically a warm, dry Spring is a key factor to a successful season.