The Peafowl Problem

October 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Creature Feature | Leave a comment
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With their vibrant colors and beautiful tails, peacocks have long been admired across the planet for many years. The males have a long train tail that is used to attract females when they fan it out in a mating ritual.  More then just the lady birds are impressed, this display is always sure to make people of all ages “Ohh” and “Ahh”.  Unless they’ve set up camp in your neighborhood, then they’re not quite as exciting.

Peafowl (used to describe both males, peacocks, and females, peahens) are native to India.  So why is it that they’ve taken over certain parts of South Florida?  Just as with so many other invasive species like Iguanas and Lion Fish, the peafowl started as pets that were either released or somehow escaped.  With South Florida being the beautiful tropical oasis that it is, the species has managed to flourish.  They’ve taken over areas in Coconut Grove, Miami, and Boynton Beach where in the neighborhood of Fox Hollow their population reached an estimate of about 400 birds earlier this year.

So what is it about these beauties that make them such horrible neighbors?  For starters, they missed their potty training seminar, and they poop everywhere!  With their feces all over and the likelihood of it transmitting disease, yoy could probably imagine this isn’t the best combination in a neighborhood full of children playing outside.  Secondly, they’re loud!  Sure, birds make noise, this isn’t exactly front page news.  But if you’ve ever heard a peacock scream, you know how loud they can be.  Now imagine that outside of your window at 3am,  And unlike your obnoxious college neighbors, you can’t call the cops (well you can, just don’t expect them to actually do anything) so you’re stuck with night after night of peacock hollering at all hours from sunset to sunrise.  Also, though they don’t mean to be, they’re destructive.  Those long, sharp claws of their that can be used for self defense can do a number on your cars beautiful paint job.  Sound like a fun bunch, don’t they?

HOWEVER, for those of us who don’t have to deal with the not-so-glamorous side of them, peacocks remain a beautiful display of nature.  This particular bird was at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek, FL.  I didn’t happen to see any females nearby, so I can only imagine he was trying to impress (or challenge) my sons brightly colored stroller.  Regardless of his intentions, he put on quite an impressive show that both my son and I loved to watch.  Tradewinds is pretty reliable if you want to see them for yourself.  Just remember not to feed them, or you may end up with a rowdy neighbor.

Photos taken with my Nikon D3100

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