North End Wild Turkeys

The ongoing travels of Hazel and Bella, the North End wild turkeys! Cover photo by Mark Goforth.

Update! Check out the great article by Anna Webb in the Idaho Statesman – click here.

Beginning with a reported sighting in March of 2016, two female wild turkeys have taken up residence in Boise’s North End. The first report coincided with the annual Treefort music festival and many thought they’d come to town to get into the music action. The sighting was between 13th and 14th on Ridenbaugh by Jennifer Henderson.


They magically appeared after taking the summer off at 6th and Pueblo. Sighted this time by Billy Fox. They seem transfixed by the wreath on the door or the colorful shutters.


They stayed in this part of the neighborhood for a couple of weeks as they were sighted a second and third time by Beau Brazier on September 21st and again on October 3rd by Adam Bates. Some conjectured they had moved into the North End from above this area which is exposed to the Boise Foothills.


Kelly Paananen reported them at 16th and Hazel about a month later. My guess is they knew Halloween was coming up and they wanted to check out Harrison Boulevard before the annual Halloween throngs descended on the the boulevard.


The next sighting was on Anderson St. and they were headed west reported Ellen Jones-Williams. Anderson Street is in one of the northernmost areas of the North End.


On Halloween they went tricking or treating early to avoid the crowds across the street from Laura Nelson’s home.


On November 4, 2016 they were heading closer to the center of Boise and showed up near 32nd & Irene where Sam Irons caught them on camera. While it is apparent they are quite mobile, they do seem to have a plan. Possibly excitement over the election, wanting to get closer to the center of action in Boise.


Shortly after the election, the girls were tracked down by neighbors and featured on local news station KTVB and were instant celebrities. Sarah Ahrens sent KTVB photos after spotting them at 14th and Ridenbaugh around November 16th. Check out the story by clicking here!.


From there they headed north again to 28th and Dewey as shown in this shot from Barb Tomasini. John Dadabay also saw the guys at Elm Grove Park, stopped the car and said hello. John said they seemed amused.


State legislator Melissa Wintrow caught he pair heading back toward Camel’s Back Park and points east on December 11th are the first snowfall. All were relieved they had survived Thanksgiving! It’s also evident these two are progressives.


We were then slammed by Snowmageddon 2016/2017 and all were concerned they would have a tough time in the 3 feet of snow and extreme cold. Reports have started filtering in of sightings and the campaign to give them names was launched. Some had dubbed them “Thelma and Louise” and others called them “Christmas and Thanksgiving” and yet many felt they should have names that reflected their North End home.

On February 18th and 19th Ben Green and Cheryl Mendiola caught sight of them. Ben’s photo shows them crossing 13th and Sherman to the delight of neighbors who were out on their porches snapping photos. By this time we knew one of them would be named Hazel!


Cheryl sighted them a couple of times. First near North Junior High and again at 11th and Ada. Seems they’re heading toward their point of origin near the foothills above North 6th Street. It is Spring and they’re ready for a little break!


The results of the polling on the Facebook group ‘The Northend‘ were conclusive. The top name picked was Hazel. In a tight runoff poll between Bella, Irene and Dewey, the second name selected selected was Bella.

Please feel free to add comments with photos as we hope they will continue to delight all of us with their presence.

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