When South Windsor resident Annie Yacoub looked out her window, the last thing she expected to see in her backyard was a flock of wild turkeys seemingly staring back at her.
But turkeys there were: About 14 of them, perched on her fence Wednesday afternoon.
"My reaction was shocking and I kind of just yelled a little loud that my cousin came running upstairs to check on me and she's like, Oh my God, what the heck is that?," Yacoub said.
"I don't know, it's crazy. I've never seen anything like that."
While she's used to seeing turkeys walking the area in groups of seven or eight near Dominion Road, she's never seen them in such a large group or in her backyard in 12 years of living in her home.
"Because they're just sitting there like in a row, and they're just staring into our backyard and it's almost like they're looking directly at you," Yacoub said. "They just look angry. I'm just wondering, what is on their mind? It's crazy."
Yacoub took to social media to share some photos and hear from her neighbours.
"It's so quiet, like they are planning something," Yacoub wrote on Facebook. "It's like attack of the killer turkeys or something" — and many neighbours agreed.
"They look like birds but they're devils in disguise," one person chimed in.
Another person suggested the turkeys were just warming up by getting out of the snow — "Now if they start plotting a takeover then you might have something to worry about."
Grouping of wild turkeys a 'defence system'
While Yacoub said she's never seen anything like it, Tom Coke, executive director of the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary, says turkeys congregating in larger groups is actually a defence system, making it harder for coyotes or other predatory animals to attack.
And, he says, it's an example where conservation efforts worked after low wild turkey populations in the 1980s and 1990s.
"It was identified that this is an animal that needs assistance," Coke said. 'It's a species that is [now] flourishing."
Yacoub said she steered clear of the turkeys, and soon enough many had dispersed — but not before taking plenty of walks through her yard, as evidenced by tiny turkey footprints in the snow.