Proud Peacocks Ruffling Feathers

La Cañada Flintridge has already trapped more than half its peacocks

About 200 years ago, poet William Blake wrote that "the pride of the peacock is the glory of God."

In the mid 1950s, NBC television, the parent company of this blog, adopted the colorful bird as its logo.

But this week the La Cañada Flintridge City Council continued to ruffle the feathers of peafowl enthusiasts by continuing to trap the birds, which, like most big birds, are far easier on the eyes than they are on the ears and nose.

According to the La Cañada Valley Sun, the affluent LA suburb trapped 21 of the 40 peacocks believed to be in the city last month, and is proceeding with plans to shrink the birds' ranks to as few as 14.

A city official has even suggested that the Noahesque ratio of two male peafowl to every five females is achievable.

An animal keeper with the Los Angeles Zoo has been contracted by the city to conduct the trapping and relocation of the birds, which some residents complain squawk loudly, defecate profusely, and have been known to challenge vehicles.

Such complaints may surprise those who've never lived around the birds, but several communities in and around LA have had issues with the feathered beasts from time to time. False alarms have even been blamed on peacocks. Ventura County Sheriff's deputies several years ago, for example, used to jokingly tell the tale of responding to reports of a screaming woman only to later find that the elusive screams were the echoes of a peacock's cry echoing off the rock walls of Box Canyon.

Even the late author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson, who liked peafowl so much he kept them on his ranch, once expressed the desire to eat one of them after it perched itself on a power line and fried his electrics during the Super Bowl.

-- TJ Sullivan

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us