As the pandemic drags on, Montrealers have found a friend in fowl times. That much was revealed by NDG resident Angel Ng, who woke up on Sunday morning to an unexpected visitor in her driveway: Butters the NDG turkey.
“I called my daughter to check out the window,” she said. “I knew who he was when I approached the driveway. I told my family members: ‘That’s Butters the NDG turkey people have been looking for!'”
That’s Butters the NDG turkey people have been looking for!
Butters, a wild turkey, has been roaming throughout Montreal’s west end for several months and has become the city’s newest animal influencer. He even has his own fan page.
Citizens have been posting photos and videos of Butters on social media as he visits backyards and struts down avenues. Though it's unclear who first named the feathered neighbourhood friend.
According to Ng, the bird sighting provided a bright moment during an otherwise difficult time as the COVID-19 lockdown has all but cancelled normal life.
“If you're social like me, being cooped up will get to you at times,” she quipped. “I think he just gives us something fun and different to talk about during these times and that's why he's become so popular.”
NDG resident Bryan Weiss also spotted Butters last week and was impressed by the bird’s large size and impressive strut.
“When I saw the bird, I was shocked,” he said. “I just came off the bus and was walking down the street and in the distance I saw him… a wild turkey roaming the streets of Montreal!”
From his bright plumage and lack of a beard, Canadian Wild Turkey Federation biologist Tadeusz Splawinski explained Butters appears to be a young male and was probably born this past spring.
While turkeys are relatively docile and typically scared of humans, he strongly discouraged residents from approaching the bird to avoid public safety issues for both humans and Butters.
“Your readers, and those feeding Butters in particular, likely won't want to hear this, but in order to minimize potential conflict, I highly suggest not feeding the bird or trying to tame it,” he said.
“It may seem like a kind thing to do, particularly in the winter, but this will lead to problematic issues down the line.”