Wild bird makes for foul guest
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Wild bird makes for foul guest

Saturday, the turkey came for breakfast

Wild turkeys make their way across a suburban Teaneck street.
Wild turkeys make their way across a suburban Teaneck street.

It is the stuff of suburban nightmares.

Courtney Lopchinsky was drinking her coffee and sharing a breakfast of cookies and ice cream with two of her children on a recent Shabbat morning. Her husband and youngest child already had left for shul.

She looked out the kitchen window and saw four wild turkeys fly up to her neighbor’s roof and perch there.

She didn’t know that one of those birds had her number.

The number turned out to be 6,000.

That’s how many dollars of damage ensued when one of the birds flew off the roof and straight at her, charging right through her kitchen window.

No one ever said turkeys were smart.

With the loud crash of a plate glass window, shards of glass and feathers filled the air of the Teaneck kitchen and a turkey landed on the table.

Ms. Lopchinsky grabbed her two children and “literally ran for our lives,” she recalled this past week.

They ran next door and called 911 from the neighbor’s house.

Teaneck police were initially skeptical, she said. But the skepticism fell away when they saw Ms. Lopchinsky and her daughter pulling glass shards from their hair.

From left, a wild turkey splattered blood on the window sill of a Teaneck home and left debris on the kitchen floor when it crashed through a window, now boarded up, and disrupted breakfast for the Lopchinsky family.
From left, a wild turkey splattered blood on the window sill of a Teaneck home and left debris on the kitchen floor when it crashed through a window, now boarded up, and disrupted breakfast for the Lopchinsky family.

Ms. Lopchinsky returned to her kitchen with the police. The turkey had been cut by his jagged entrance and was bleeding. He was muddy. He spread his wings and puffed up his feathers and glass and dirt flew onto the floor.

“It was disgusting,” Ms. Lopchinsky said.

The police chased the turkey around the kitchen and around the house. He jumped up to the sink. He knocked the slow cooker with cholent off the counter. He pecked at another window, hoping to escape. “Finally, they caught him,” she said.

But if Ms. Lopchinsky was hoping for the turkey to be taught a lesson, she was disappointed.

“They just let him go,” she said.

Apparently, breaking and entering isn’t prosecuted in Teaneck, if the perpetrator is a bird.

Sadly, it turned out that Ms. Lopchinksy’s homeowner’s insurance also didn’t mete out just rewards when the perpetrator is a bird.

Her policy’s coverage specifically exempts damage by birds, as well as by snakes and other reptiles, according to its fine print.

Secondary damage from the broken glass, however, was covered. Not, though, the feathers, the blood, the mud, and the glass shards the turkey left all over the house.

It took two industrial cleaning companies to clean up the mess.

A week later she found glass fragments in her child’s Lego box.

The turkeys continue to roam in her corner of Teaneck.

Soon, a new window will replace the wooden board that has covered the damage.

“We asked the window guys, is it a turkey-proof window? He said he couldn’t guarantee anything.”

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