‘Can we hook him up?’ Turkey on the loose in Calgary wandering in search of mate

A turkey, nicknamed “Turk Diggler” is shown in this handout photo in Calgary on January 23, 2020. Turk Diggler is looking for love, and one Calgary city councillor is wondering whether to play matchmaker. Sightings of the lone male turkey with brown and grey feathers and a red wattle began about a year ago in Calgary’s Ramsay neighbourhood southeast of downtown.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Christa White MANDATORY CREDITA turkey, nicknamed “Turk Diggler” is shown in this handout photo in Calgary on January 23, 2020. Turk Diggler is looking for love, and one Calgary city councillor is wondering whether to play matchmaker. Sightings of the lone male turkey with brown and grey feathers and a red wattle began about a year ago in Calgary’s Ramsay neighbourhood southeast of downtown.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Christa White MANDATORY CREDIT
A turkey is shown in this handout photo in Calgary on March 29, 2020. Turk Diggler is looking for love, and one Calgary city councillor is wondering whether to play matchmaker. Sightings of the lone male turkey with brown and grey feathers and a red wattle began about a year ago in Calgary’s Ramsay neighbourhood southeast of downtown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Police Service- Const. Chris Martin MANDATORY CREDITA turkey is shown in this handout photo in Calgary on March 29, 2020. Turk Diggler is looking for love, and one Calgary city councillor is wondering whether to play matchmaker. Sightings of the lone male turkey with brown and grey feathers and a red wattle began about a year ago in Calgary’s Ramsay neighbourhood southeast of downtown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Police Service- Const. Chris Martin MANDATORY CREDIT

Turk Diggler is looking for love, and one Calgary city councillor is wondering whether to play matchmaker.

Sightings of the lone male turkey with brown and grey feathers and a red wattle began about a year ago in Calgary’s Ramsay neighbourhood southeast of downtown.

Residents theorize the bird escaped from an agricultural event at the Stampede Grounds down the hill.

Some refer to him simply as Turk. In city councillor Gian-Carlo Carra’s household at least, he’s called Turk Diggler, an apparent play on the fictional porn star Dirk Diggler.

Until recently, Turk seemed content to stick around Ramsay.

“What’s happening now is Turk Diggler is ranging far afield,” said Carra.

Turk has a nearly 3,800-strong Facebook fan club on the “Loyal Followers of the Ramsay Turkey” page, and members have been posting photos of his travels around town over the past two weeks.

He has shown up in Carra’s neighbourhood of Inglewood, right next to Ramsay. Police Const. Chris Martin was also out on patrol two weeks ago and snapped photos of the bird meandering around the Beltline area.

This week, the turkey was peering at windows of the Eau Claire YMCA.

“What seems apparent is that Turk Diggler is looking for a mate, because he seems very pre-occupied with staring lovingly at his own reflection in any surface that reflects him — a window or a sheet of plate steel,” Carra said.

“I’m absolutely convinced that mine is not the only household where Turk Diggler becomes a topic of delighted dinner time conversation. And I think everyone would be very interested in the next chapter of Turk Digger’s life if it involved a happy family.”

Carra is wondering: “Can we hook him up? Can we get him a girlfriend?”

He said he plans to reach out to Alberta Fish and Wildlife to ask whether that makes sense.

The department said in a statement that officers respond to public safety concerns involving wildlife, which does not apply to Turk.

Carra has also asked his neighbour, biologist Brian Keating, for advice. Keating creates nature films and podcasts through a not-for-profit he co-founded, Great Big Nature, and regularly discusses wildlife on CBC Calgary.

Keating said Turk is a wild turkey that seems to have been hand-raised.

“That’s why it’s so friendly,” he said.

“I’m amazed that it has survived over the winter just because the city’s a dangerous place for an animal that tastes as good as a turkey to be wandering around.”

Keating said spring is when a turkey’s hormones begin to kick in.

“This is the breeding season and Turk is looking for a girl,” he said. “The juvenile delinquent in me says, ‘Yeah, let’s get him a girl.’”

He said it should be possible to procure a female turkey from a breeder in Alberta.

And Turk has a lot going for him as a potential suitor.

“His plumage is glistening with all kinds of iridescent colours. His wattle is excellent — it’s a beautiful red colour,” said Keating.

If he were wooing a female, Keating said Turk would put on quite a show.

“He would spread his tail. He would strut in front of her. He would give all kinds of gobbles.”

The deed itself would be done in just a moment.

But Keating questions whether it’s ethical to bring another bird into the mix. It’s a surprise that Turk has survived this long, and he’s not sure a mate or offspring would be as lucky.

“Are you just condemning a bird to death?”

Letting the season go by without a mate is no big deal for Turk, said Keating.

“He’ll just live another year and he’ll do it all again next year, looking for a girl.

“I think we should just enjoy Turk for who he is and what he is.”

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Calgary

Just Posted

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Items seized by RCMP during a May 13 raid on Butchart Street. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP seize guns and drugs during raid on Butchart Street property

Police executed a search warrant on a home May 13, arresting one man at the scene

...
Columbia Bible College hires new men’s basketball head coach

Drew Slaght will lead Abbotsford-based school in Pacwest action for 2021-22 season

The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed guard Gentrey Thomas for the 2021 CEBL season. (Fraser Valley Bandits photo)
Fraser Valley Bandits sign guard Gentrey Thomas

Abbotsford-based basketball club signs former UC Riverside talent

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

(Vancouver Police Department)
Vancouver police expect violence to escalate, ID 6 gangsters who pose ‘public safety risk’

VPD asking public to stay away from these six people, who they say may be targeted in shootings

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read