110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Officials would like to find the birds a new home
By Joe Crews
posted Jul 7, 2014 - 12:23:48pm
A family of peacocks has taken up residence outside a nursing home on DeLand’s north side, and the birds are raising a ruckus and sometimes damaging cars.
Facility officials want them gone — relocated, that is, not killed.
“They’re beautiful birds,” said Maureen Kehoe, administrator of Ridgecrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on North Stone Street. “It’s a male, three babies and a mama.”
But the birds are very territorial, Kehoe said, and the adults — the peacock daddy and peahen mama — react angrily when they see their reflections in cars parked around the facility. The peacocks think the reflected images are intruding birds. (There is a reason dumb people are called bird brains!)
Apparently, the peafowl were abandoned when the owners of a nearby farm moved out. Now, they’re feral, and roosting near the nursing home.
“It’s a Catch-22 here,” Kehoe said. “They’re beautiful to look at, but they’re not toilet-trained, and they peck at their reflections in cars.”
Kehoe stressed that the preference is for relocation over euthanizing.
“We have calls out to the Sanford Zoo and other places,” she said.
Relocating the birds to the wild is not an option, said Greg Workman, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“They’re not regulated, but they shouldn’t be allowed into the wild,” Workman said. “Whoever did that is in violation.”
The fowl can be taken to a facility that is willing to take them, he said, although the facility might need a license to keep peacocks.
According to the FWC website, peafowl are native not to Florida but to India and Sri Lanka. However, they’ve been reported in 17 Central and South Florida counties. They first appeared in Orange County in the 1950s and in the other counties in 1986; they have not been eliminated in any Florida county.
“Semi-domesticated populations can be a nuisance in residential communities, and their loud raucous calls sometimes result in complaints from neighbors,” the FWC reports. “Peafowl are omnivorous, feeding on seeds, grain, berries, young shoots, flowers, snails, insects, lizards, and frogs. ... Feral populations tend to die out over time unless restocked.”
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