- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - It’s time to ring in the new year by reporting all those wild turkey sightings in your backyard.

The turkeys will soon be gathering at birdfeeders, and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is asking the public to report flock sightings via its online N.H. Turkey Winter Flock Survey.

Last year, volunteer turkey watchers submitted 730 flock reports, totaling 12,574 turkeys.

The survey started Friday and runs through March 31. New Hampshire has an estimated 40,000 wild turkeys.

The survey is designed to fill gaps in the department’s winter flock data collection efforts, adding to its understanding of the abundance and distribution of turkeys during the season.

Participants are asked to report the number of turkeys in the flock; where they were seen; the type of habitat the birds were observed in; and what the turkeys were feeding on, such as acorns or seed at birdfeeders.

“This reporting system allows the public to contribute important information to our understanding of winter turkey status in an inexpensive, efficient and, hopefully, enjoyable way,” said turkey biologist Ted Walski. “We are also interested in seeing whether people observe any diseased turkeys,” such as warty protuberances in the head and eye area.

Participants can fill out a form online on the department’s website at www.wildnh.com/surveys/turkey.html .

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