Ramsay turkey gets his own tracking site complete with anti-harassment safeguard

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A wild turkey that has gobbled up the affections of several communities near the downtown core now has his own web presence so people can enjoy updates, but with a catch.

“It’s for people who have had past or current sightings of Turk,” Lynn Moorman of the TurkTracker site told the Calgary Eyeopener.

“They can go on and place that location with some detail as to what he is doing, how he is looking.”

But Moorman — a Mount Royal University professor who specializes in digital mapping — says there’s a built-in safeguard so people don’t get too close.

“We don’t want people to put a lot of information in real time. We delay the current data by a few days just to give him a little bit of privacy, not ruffle his feathers.”

Turk has been observed for around a year now, originally in Ramsay, but he’s ventured as far as the Beltline, Telus Spark, Crescent Heights and other communities.

He gets lots of Facebook love from a page with more than 5,500 followers.

“We keep track of what he was doing. Was he preening, was he walking, sitting, roosting?” Moorman explained.

“We are gathering basic data like that and safety concerns. Hopefully this will give people a chance to look at his whole history of movement. He’s really making some moves. I think he is pretty happy and healthy right now.”

Moorman says TurkTracker is just one of many similar projects run by Calgarians.

“There are some great citizen science projects out there, people recording their observations of birds and other urban wildlife, like foxes and coyotes,” she said.

“Turk is a survivor. He gives us hope. And he is really fun to follow around the city. I am pretty excited about this project.”

On today’s show: we talk to a Fort Mac resident about how they’re handling the flooding there; three clients from Calgary’s Drop-In Centre have tested positive for COVID-19. We speak with the D-I’s executive director about what they’re doing to prevent an outbreak; what have public health officials learned about the coronavirus since it first emerged in this country and what are they still trying to understand? Doctor Raj Bhardwaj joins us with that story; new restrictions on public gatherings take their toll on summer camps; wanna see where Calgary’s wild turkey has been trotting? Well now there’s a map for that! 38:11

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.

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