Wandering peacocks infest California city: “They’re a nuisance, but they’re beautiful” | California

Dozens of wild peacocks and peacocks roam the streets and leap from the rooftops of Tracy, California. They scratch the shingles and defecate on the porches. Their calls, especially during mating season, resonate in the community. They are not afraid of animals or people.

Stray peacocks have been rampant in the Redbridge area for years – some believe they originally came from a nearby former dairy farm – but their numbers have increased as the birds continue to multiply. Now they are everywhere and ruffle the feathers of some locals.

“I’ll have eight of them sitting on my porch railing pooping,” said Stephanie Voress, owner of Redbridge General Store. “They are a nuisance, but they are beautiful. “

Over the past few weeks, some members of the community have decided that something needs to be done. The Homeowners Association of Redbridge, a gated community, has offers Humane displacement of approximately 30 to 40 peacocks through an agreement with the city and a contract with Bay Area Wildlife Services.

The homeowners association says it hopes to finalize an agreement between the government of Tracy, a town of about 90,000 people located about 60 miles east of San Francisco, and the community of Redbridge to share the cost of the planned relocation – which is estimated to be around $ 30,000. . Tracy City Council and Animal Services did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Guardian. The homeowners association is weighing a number of options on where to send the birds if the relocation plan is implemented, but insists it’s time for the peacock to find a new home.

“If it was a pack of 100 rats scuffling in the yard or on the roof, no one would wait to fix this problem,” said Dave Lieberman, president of the Redbridge Homeowners Association. “Unfortunately peacocks are beautiful birds, you want to admire them, but in those numbers they can be destructive. “

Peacocks are known for their iridescent plumage marked with blue and green ocelli, but they are also large birds that weigh up to 13 pounds and often move in groups. Males can give a distinctive call.

“They have a special kind of cry that looks like a baby moaning. It’s a bit of a pain, ”Lieberman said. “It starts early in the morning, it’s noisy and then they land on the rooftops.”

Residents challenged the peacock due to damage to their homes, scratches on cars, and the sound of their screaming and rooftop perches. And then there is the galloping defecation.

“The poo is huge,” Voress said. “It comes out like sweet serve.”

Other areas of California have faced similar issues with peacocks in recent years, sometimes deeply polarizing communities on what to do with them. Earlier this year, resettlement efforts stalled during the pandemic led to the release of hundreds of wild peacocks on the lawns and rooftops of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. Some residents became enchanted with the brightly colored birds, defying the mandates not to feed them, while others developed a deep hatred of the peacock population and resorted to self-defense attempts to bring down their numbers. – by running them over with cars or trying to poison them.

Much like in Southern California, there is a controversial peacocks and peacocks debate in Redbridge. Some residents love birds and hope to keep them, Lieberman saying he has a video of owners throwing food for peacocks out of kitchen windows. On the NextDoor social media platform, residents say the neighborhood is divided between those who think birds are an attractive addition to the community and those who believe the birds must go.

“I’m pretty neutral on that, because I think they’re gorgeous,” Voress said. “But they pretty much spoil my porch.”

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