First published in the July 29 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
Peacocks landed at the center of a discussion at a recent South Pasadena City Council meeting, with residents complaining about vandalism to vehicles when the photogenic male birds see reflections of themselves and act aggressively as well as the defecation that the birds leave behind.
And despite the exquisite plumage exhibited by peacocks that’s easy on the eyes, another major problem for residents is the birds’ loud screeching sounds they bellow out day and night.
Resident Shlomo Nitzani said he gathered about 200 signatures on a petition to eradicate the peafowl, the overall name for that type of animal, from the community. Technically, only males are peacocks, while females are peahens and their offspring are peachicks.
Nitzani added that he feels his efforts are paying off.
“This time we are organized, and we expect to see action,” Nitzani said, adding that city officials need to get rid of the animals completely because they will reproduce. In a separate interview, Nitzani said he would prefer the peafowls be relocated to Lancaster. Peafowls, which belong to the same family as pheasants, can be relocated, one speaker said during the council meeting.
In California, peafowls are not protected under fish and game laws.
“Get rid of the peafowls once and for all,” Nitzani said during the council meeting.
Another speaker who lives in the Monterey Hills area said she has seen the number of peafowls expand “exponentially.”
She said she’s contacted council members in the past. “My car’s been scratched. My yard has been torn up and the poop, that’s everywhere,” she said. “But what I really want to talk about is what you’re going to do going forward.”
She said she once counted about 30 peafowls in a couple of yards, while she said a neighbor said they saw about 50.
Adding to the problem is that there are no natural predators to take care of the peafowl issue, one speaker said. However, coyotes have been known to attack and kill peafowl, according to news reports.
Resident Jerilyn Chun said she has lived in the area for a long time and pointed out that the situation started getting out of control about eight years ago.
“They’re really all over the place,” she said.
She asked council members to just spend a few hours in the hills area to see how serious the situation is.
Resident Margaret Lee said there have been complaints the peafowls sometimes land on the roofs of houses, causing a thud, which can be alarming.