We had a surprise visit from an attractive but unwelcome visitor late yesterday afternoon.
Yes, that's a peacock. He was quite large but, as his tail feathers were relatively short, I suspect he may be a juvenile, although I can't say I have much experience with peafowl. Apparently, male peacocks don't develop a full train of feathers until they're about 6 years of age. They also shed their tail feathers each summer but it seems early for completion of the molting process; however, I can't claim any personal knowledge of that process either.
My husband returned home and found the bird seated on our roof at the front of the house. He alerted me and I grabbed my camera and went looking for our visitor. I heard him squawk before I saw him. Peacocks can produce a blood-curdling screech but this one produced a sound more like a goose's honk.
I found him pacing nervously about the vegetable garden.
He didn't at all like being followed around so he flew up out of my way onto our garage roof, where he paced about some more before flying over the fence into my neighbor's yard..
Hopefully, he'll head back to his colony. He's very handsome and I certainly bear him no ill will but I'd prefer that he reside elsewhere. In addition to their capacity for ear-splitting shrieks, they've been known to wreak havoc in gardens. The peacocks, which are native to India, were brought into this area as a gift to a wealthy landowner in the 1920s. Their numbers increased and the surrounding community became quite divided about their presence. There are clear pro- and anti-peacock factions in the community.
Although I've seen them on the road a few miles from here, I've never before seen them in our neighborhood. Our community has an ordinance prohibiting residents from feeding them and offers a laundry list of recommendations to deter them from moving in and settling down. Dogs are the primary deterrent but our neighborhood coyotes are unlikely to permit long-time residence either. A city website offers a helpful list of plants disliked by peacocks, which one is encouraged to use, and plants that the peacocks particularly like, which one is warned to avoid. Luckily, I have a lot of plants on the "dislike" list but the "like" list contains a general reference to "tender young plants," which is problematic.
As of this morning, there's no sign of our visitor. I hope he left of his own volition and not as dinner for one of the neighborhood coyotes.