Turkeys circle a dead cat
A Twitter user captured the bizarre scene on camera Twitter/@TheReal_JDavis

A Twitter user has captured a bizarre scene on camera in Boston - a flock of turkeys slowly walking in a circle around a dead cat in the middle of a road.

"That is the craziest thing I've ever seen," @TheReal_JDavis tweeted. "Bro, this is wild."

"These turkeys trying to give this cat its 10th life," the Boston resident wrote.

The viral video has been shared more than 37,000 times, with social media users suggesting the "creepy" turkeys might be holding a funeral procession for the unfortunate cat.

So why were the birds circling the dead animal?

Turkeys very rarely eat dead animals, so it is unlikely the bird were inspecting a potential meal. They consume leaves, grass, roots, berries, nuts and seeds.

Massachusetts "foremost turkey expert" told Boston Magazine that the turkeys could have been following one another to investigate the corpse, but accidentally ended up walking in a circle.

Biologist Alan Krakauer, who studies the behavioural ecology of birds at the University of California Davis, told The Verge that the turkeys could be carrying out a "predator inspection".

This behaviour enables animals lower down the food chain to approach predators, which can scare them off.

"Sometimes, animals lower down in the food chain approach predators — a behaviour that can be seen as risky, but can actually help the prey," Krakauer said.

"Making the predator aware that the prey know it's there can sometimes scare the predator away. The 'inspection' also allows the prey to check how determined the predator is to attack, and can alert other animals to the danger."

A group of wild turkeys is called a flock, but a group of domesticated turkeys is known as a "rafter" or a "gang".