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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

PEACOCKS!! - article

~*~ Thought you might like to hear some fun stuff from Vancouver ~*~

Flock of peacocks a nuisance for Surrey residents
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
By Frank Luba, The Province

Some residents in the Surrey neighbourhood of 150th Street and 62nd Avenue aren't too happy with their guests — a flock of peacocks that are roosting on the rooftops of their homes.

A Surrey neighbourhood is in a flap over a flock of problematic peacocks.

At least 12 peacocks — and maybe as many as 35, according to some reports — have taken up residence in the Sullivan Heights area near 62nd Avenue and 150th Street.

The area used to be acreages, but is now home to subdivisions with new homes that are no longer gleaming because of the peacocks' poop.

But the worst thing is the noise, according to new resident Adam Perzow.

"In the middle of the night and early morning, they are screaming," said Perzow. The sounds from the bigger birds are "like someone is being murdered," he added.

Perzow and his wife moved into their home in November.

"I had no idea they were there," he said.

He knows now.

"They pretty much poop all over my yard and all over my driveway," said Perzow. "They roost in my tree and on my front porch.

"I would like these birds gone."

The birds are part of the pheasant family. Their bodies are 90 to 130 centimetres tall, with a tail approximately 1.5 metres in length. Peacocks weigh about four to six kilograms and have a lifespan of about 20 years.

Nobody is sure exactly where the Surrey birds came from, but a dozen or so regularly sun themselves on a building located on a neighbour's property.

Perzow thinks the neighbour is feeding the birds.

Other neighbours have complained to the Surrey bylaw enforcement department, but nothing has been done.

A call from The Province to the animal-control division of the department was not returned Monday afternoon.

Peacocks and their magnificent iridescent tails are not native to B.C. but have a long history in the province. The birds used to roam Stanley Park, although the Vancouver parks board said the park is no longer home to the birds.

They can even be found in the Gulf Islands, specifically Mayne Island.

They are popular with people who have larger properties, according to Shawneen Esson of Art Knapps Plantland in Surrey.

Esson helps take care of the live birds sold at the garden-supply centre, including the peacocks that sell for $150.

The birds can "make a mess," Esson admitted. "It would be like having a Labrador retriever running around the neighbourhood."

Except these Labs can fly and are omnivorous, which means they hunt for tasty treats in the garbage bags they rip open.

Esson advised the residents to get the birds comfortable by feeding them regularly in a designated indoor area, and then "close the door."

"Then you can snag them," said Esson.

What you do with them after that? Esson didn't say.