Peacocks are not Native…

If Pretty is as Pretty does, Peacocks are Ugly

Invasive Species

Invasive Species

We moved to Altadena, CA a little over 20 years ago and with a trail to the mountains up our street, we are used to wildlife – coyotes, raccoons, skunks, an occasional bear nearby, and the normal urban wildlife.  Then about 10+ years ago we started seeing a few peacocks around our neighborhood – also parrots, but that is another story.

Lucky Baldwin brought peacocks to Arcadia, CA in the late 1800s and the birds multiplied and now run wild all over the Arboretum and nearby neighborhoods.  Our house is about 10 miles from Arcadia, and my guess is that over the years the birds traveled up the hill.  Some may have escaped from yards in Altadena.  Our house, built in 1925, had a huge peacock pen when we bought it.  The pen was about 12 feet tall and was covered with terrible thorny vines – fern-like with pieces that broke off and made me really itchy.  My husband and I tore out the fencing.  Not that I am not really superstitious, but that corner with the fencing and the vines felt spooky.  Who knows, maybe the Altadena peacocks escaped from our yard.

Those of you who don’t live with wild Peacocks and only see them in the zoo, have no idea of what terrible neighbors they make.  Abby and Ginger (our 4 legged children), keep the birds from hanging out in our yard.  The “gentleman” pictured above lives with his peahens in the yard/trees behind us and I frequently see him showing off with his feathers outstretched.  You may not know this,  but the fancy feathers are only around for part of the year during mating season.  They will drop at the end of the summer or early fall.  The feathers are at least pretty – but the sound that comes from these pretty birds is unbelievable.  Not only is it loud and piercing, but it sounds like someone screeching.  Everyday they are out there…  All day we hear it…

I am torn about the birds’ effect on my gardening.  On one hand, they eat young plants and I have to cover my lettuce with chicken wire until it is about 3 inches tall.  On the other hand, the snail and slug population is almost nonexistent in my yard – which tells me the peacocks are in the yard when the dogs are not.

I’ve been reading several novels (ok, listened to books while knitting) about the English Cousin’s War (Lancaster vs. York) and several times the writing mentioned peacock as one of the dinner dishes…  But being so mean and loud I can’t imagine they taste good…

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One Response to Peacocks are not Native…

  1. Joanna says:

    Oh that is funny. Whe I hear peacocks at the Zoo. It sounds like to me they are screeching BILL

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