The peacock invasion: Residents cry fowl as posse of birds strut all over town


Problems: Residents of Banks, a village near Southport, are having their lives terrorised by a gang of peacocks. A pair of male peacocks can be seen fighting with each other

They strut down the street with their heads held high and their fan-tail plumage glistening magnificently in the daylight.
Cats and dogs run for cover; cars slow to a crawl. All across the well-to-do estate, residents are shutting doors, closing windows, securing their sheds and greenhouses.
Some are tooling up with water-pistols.
Jean O’Hanlon, 71, arms herself with a feather duster and is ready for action.
The peacocks are coming to town. And for the next several hours, then overnight and into the early hours of the morning, the battle begins.
One resident finds a peacock asleep in her conservatory. Another awakes to see a curious pair of eyes peering in from the roof through a dormer window.

Not happy: Cathy Bell, pictured, said the birds are 'over-running' the quiet residential estate

Elsewhere on the estate, peacocks are pecking at tasty fruit and vegetables, squashing treasured plants to oblivion or settling down on a chimney-pot.
Not to mention depositing the unmentionable on driveways, pavements, car bonnets and lawns.
In a bizarre coincidence of circumstance and geography, this less than rural Lancashire community has become an unlikely haven for peacocks - and for the peahens they spend much of their lives pursuing.
Banks, near Southport, has only just been cleared of scores of feral chickens running wild around the estate.
Now a gang of around 15 peafowl (that’s the collective name for both sexes) are staking out their territory in an increasingly bold invasion. With the mating season just over, more are sure to follow.
‘They’re absolutely beautiful but they’re a damn nuisance,’ Mrs O’Hanlon told me. ‘They make the most horrendous noise, all through the night.

‘Sometimes I’m out chasing them all day with a feather duster or my husband’s walking stick, but they don’t seem frightened at all.
‘Two weeks ago the screeching was so bad that I got up at 3am, went downstairs and got a big jug of water and threw it over them. They just stood there and looked at me.’
On another occasion she heard ‘an almighty crash’ and rushed out to see what it was. A large peacock had leapt on a neighbour’s greenhouse and gone through the glass.
‘They’re everywhere,’ she said. ‘Some of us have got water pistols. We thought it would be a way of frightening them without hurting them, but that doesn’t work either. In the road, they sit down and won’t budge. Cars have to stop until they decide to move.’
One woman complained that a peacock pecked a dent in her car when it caught sight of its reflection in the paintwork and began to spar with it.
Neighbour Cathy Bell, 62, said the birds were ‘over-running our quiet residential estate’. She added:
‘They are marauding daily through our tidy gardens, trampling on our bedding plants and pooing on the lawns.’
Opinion about the peacocks is divided. Some residents have even been spotted feeding them.

Damage: The peacocks have been spotted pecking at tasty fruit and vegetables on the estate, squashing treasured plants to oblivion or settling down on a chimney-pot

Another told me: ‘They’re far less of a nuisance than the feral youths we get around here. Prettier too.’
Likewise, theories about their origins vary. Some think they come from the same farm that produced the chickens.
More likely they are descendants of a pair believed to have been kept in the grounds of a nearby mock-Tudor manor house, demolished in 2009.
And the future? The latest juvenile brood boasts three males and two females. ‘I think we all know what that means,’ said Mrs O’Hanlon.

source: dailymail