Glenwood turkey pecks and chases his way into locals’ hearts |

Glenwood turkey pecks and chases his way into locals’ hearts

Sallee Ann Ruibal

“That turkey’s a jerk.”

When the Post Independent asked readers on social media if they recognized a popular fowl that’s hung around the Hotel Colorado area for a few years now, responses were multiple and varied. Some loved Tom the Turkey as a neighbor. Others couldn’t stand him.

All agreed that the neighborhood bird had two favorite activities: chasing cars and pecking cars.

Some speculated that Tom would peck at bumpers and tires to eat squashed bugs. But Erin Dowd, who commented that she used to park on the street that the turkey considers its domain, said even right after a car wash, Tom would peck away.

“There are a couple dozen peck marks on my bumper,” Dowd commented. “I think fondly of Tom when I see them. Crazy turkey!”

Charmaine Merrill Jones commented that she lives near Tom and watching him chase cars like a Roadrunner cartoon is her comic relief for the day.

Jones and others also noted that Tom seems to have mated and become a family turkey. A female bird has been spotted along with some chicks.

According to National Geographic, wild turkeys used to be common in North America, but were wiped out due to hunting and habitat destruction. In the 1940s, reintroduction programs began for the bird that almost replaced the eagle as the national bird.

In Glenwood Springs, the turkey is still top bird.

Some readers said they go out of their way to see Tom.

Kayla Holmbeck Thomson said that while taking her son to school, they’d take the back way by Hotel Colorado just to see Tom.

“My son would roll the window down and gobble at him,” Thomson commented. “Tom would sometimes gobble back, other times just stare at my son like he was crazy.”

Lindsay DeFrates said she and her son also take detours to see the bird.

“When I asked my 2-year-old son what a turkey does he now says, ‘It pecks your tires!’ ” she commented.

Sharlene Storey also wrote in saying that she makes sure to fit Tom Time into her schedule.

“Almost every morning on the way to work, Tom and I meet up for a little chit-chat, pick-peck time,” she wrote in an email. She added that Tom does not like to be rushed and thoroughly enjoys the middle of the road.

“I try to reason with him, but it’s like he is waiting for a ride somewhere,” Storey wrote.

Others don’t mind waiting on Tom either.

David Anselmo, owner of the Yampah Vapor Caves, said Tom is often used as an excuse for being late.

“Who could say ‘no’?” he wrote.

When Juan Alvardo was trying to deliver a pizza from Russo’s Pizza, the turkey wouldn’t let him out of the car. A bicyclist passed and told Alvardo that the turkey was Tom, and he had a penchant for tires.

“I thought, ‘Oh, that’s a popular turkey,’ ” Alvardo commented.

Tom also inserted himself into one woman’s big day.

When Kylie McFresh got married in May 2016, she and her party stayed the night before at the Hotel Colorado. When she tried to park her car on the day of the wedding, Tom was there in the hotel parking lot.

“We found a spot and the turkey would not move!” she wrote. “He was standing in front of the car pecking at the tires and grill. We tried to move and would just inch forward. He was determined to get us.”

Instead of a headache, Tom made his way into a memorable wedding moment.

“It was hilarious and one of the funniest ways to start the morning of your wedding day!”

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