A flock of rampaging peacocks is ruffling feathers in Sunland because of their noise and questions about the legality of feeding feral peacocks. The question, however, is: Are they actually feral? In Sunland, there are about eight to 12 of the birds – both peacocks and peahens (the female equivalent) ranging around Scoville and over the top to McGroarty. Although nobody has come forth to claim ownership of the birds, nearly all the neighbors “know” who may be harboring them as well as who may have been responsible for filing complaints with the county. Many residents have found warnings on their property that they claim make false accusations regarding their association with feeding the so-called feral peacocks. Some have been issued citations.
The noisy and oftentimes destructive birds roam freely across homeowners’ lawns. They sit in the trees relieving themselves in the residents’ yards and worse. One irate neighbor stated, “They poop everywhere, on my driveway, on my car, everywhere!”
The birds are free to roam the neighborhood — and the neighborhood is divided as to what they should do about it. In a recent episode, Animal Control officer Huang Ding came out and after observing which lawns had remnants of bird seed in the grass, gave a formal warning to those neighbors that it was unlawful to feed “feral” animals.
One neighbor who didn’t want to be identified said it’s really hard to get any sleep when they (the birds) are running around and making their mating calls. “At first it was cute,” the neighbor said. “It was really different and I even took pictures and sent them to friends out of the area. But then they get crazy around 6 a.m. and it’s not fun anymore.”
As no one actually claims to own them, the birds are considered “non-domesticatedferal animals” by the Los Angeles Animal Services and it is unlawful to feed them.
After many complaints by offended neighbors, ACS officer Hoang Dinh came out and surveyed the area and issued Administrative Citations to neighbors that had bird seed scattered about to feed the birds.
What makes it difficult — if not downright annoying — to neighbors on Scoville is that Los Angeles City residents can have any amount of chickens (but only one rooster) on their property as long as they are kept 30 feet away from a residence. Peacocks and hens that are not confined to a residence (or coop) are considered free-range non-domesticated animals and are not covered by any regulations other than the unlawful feeding of them.
Residents of neighboring city Arcadia have lived with peacocks since the days of Lucky Baldwin who had them on his estate which has now become the Los Angeles County Arboretum. And except for some Asians who regularly “disappear” some of the flock that roam the neighborhood, most people get along with them.
(By the way, peacocks taste like a combination of duck and chicken.)