It’s a Scream : As Peacocks Shrilly Express Themselves, Proud Homeowners Say It Isn’t Funny

Times Staff Writer

Every morning and often during the night, residents of La Canada Flintridge who live near a bend in Angeles Crest Highway are awakened by high-pitched wails that they say are more irritating than the barking of neighborhood dogs.

The noisemakers in this neighborhood are peacocks, and many residents are fed up with them.

“They really foul up the yard,” said Sato Kurahashi, who was tending flowers in her Haskell Street yard when several of the wild birds descended on her lawn and perched on the roof of her house and fence. Kurahashi and her dog quickly attempted to shoo them away, but to no avail.

The peacock population, which has been in the area for decades, has increased steadily since a 1984 brush fire drove its primary predator, the coyote, out of the area, said Doug Stevenson, administrative assistant for the city. Residents are asking for the city’s help in controlling the birds.


Second Attempt in Two Years

The City Council will discuss the issue at its meeting Monday. Stevenson said this will be the second time in two years the council will attempt to deal with the peacock issue.

He said the council in January, 1986, decided against trapping and relocating the peacocks after hearing from residents who opposed that move. He said trapping is still an option.

Many of the residents in the area have mixed feelings about the birds, which are natives of India. Although many appreciate their aesthetic qualities, they say the peacocks are making it difficult to maintain a well-groomed lawn.


“They eat everything,” said Katy Sadler, who has lived on El Vago Street for 25 years. Sadler said she knows of a woman who leaves bread crumbs for the peacocks every morning in the middle of the street, sometimes making it difficult for cars to pass by.

“I don’t pay any attention to them anymore because my dog chases them away,” Sadler said.

Other residents have resorted to turning water hoses on the birds to keep them off their property. Most agree they do not want to hurt the peacocks.

Waystation Will Take Birds

If the city decides to trap the birds, the Wildlife Waystation, a rescue and holding facility for wild and exotic animals, has “offered to take the peacocks if the city comes to terms with its various constituents,” said Martine Colette, Waystation’s founder and president. “We will give them away free to qualified facilities,” Colette said.

Monday’s council meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Descanso Gardens.