Wild Bird Foods and Rogue Peacocks
Most people are wowed by the sight of peacocks, especially when they display their fabulous tail feathers. However, some folk are not so fond of these glorious Asian birds. Several residents of Mayland, Essex have complained about the peafowl which roam the land of a local pensioner and which now visit their properties.
Frances White has been ordered by Maldon District Council to stop her peafowl straying from her land. She has been issued with a community protection order which could see her gain a criminal record if she does not comply. Apparently her birds have been intimidating her neighbours and damaging their property when they defecate. They have been eating garden plants and flowers and disturbing residents with their rather ear piercing calls.
Wild Bird Foods Encourage the Peafowl to Stray
Mrs White keeps 20 peafowl on her farmland where they roam free. She began with just two pairs of birds but they bred successfully. They have been residents for over 15 years and many locals love having them in the community and treasure them as a unique feature of the village. People stop to admire the birds and feed them with . Unfortunately feeding them has led to the birds exploring the local area. They have never been contained and Mrs White and her daughter believe that it would be cruel to do so. Nonetheless 13 or more residents have complained to the council about the peafowl.
Evidence of Nuisance
The council conducted an investigation and concluded that there is sufficient evidence that the birds are having a detrimental effect on life in the community. They have ordered Mrs White to contain the birds within the boundaries of her property but this could be quite a challenge requiring expert assistance. The birds are not easy to capture and could become aggressive towards each other if caged. Mrs White will have to do something, though, otherwise she faces a fine of up to £2,500. Her daughter says that they have been advised to have the flock culled in order to comply with the community protection order.
Rehoming the birds could be an option but apparently they do have a homing instinct which could see them return to the area. Peafowl have been known to travel great distances in order to return to home.
Meanwhile the local residents who are sympathetic to the peafowl continue to feed them with wild bird foods and have established a Facebook page in defence of the birds. The issue has split the community but must be resolved this month under the terms of the order. Evidently there are some birds that it is best not to feed no matter how much you appreciate them!