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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Some Birds Are Welcomed; Some Not So Much

Oh, what a wonderful sound. To be anywhere outdoors around here one is likely to pick up the calming sound of the Pileated woodpecker moving from tree to tree. It is a chuck-chuck-chuck voice so distinct and familiar.

While they are year round residents it does seem as if their activity increases this time of year. I could be wrong about that but there are several of them I'm seeing in my trees and in my neighbor's trees throughout the neighborhood. So melodic and restful it is to me as I work about the garden.

On the other hand there are those exotic and beautiful peacocks who decided to hang out on my roof and in my trees yesterday. With all six on the roof it sounds a bit like a train might be plowing right along over one's head. This is the look I should be giving this bird - not the other way around!

The adult male, you know, the only one with the long, magnificent tail feathers decided he'd jump down to the ground and leave the harem behind for a while. The remaining five peafowl sat around on the tree limbs until I could get close enough in my shoo-ing efforts to make them all come down to the ground. I'm not sure which I dislike more... them on the ground trampling the garden or all of them perched in my oak trees. It just made me think they were much too comfortable hanging out on those limbs. At least on the ground they keep moving.
After phoning every available county agency only to be told there are no government regulations regarding peacocks I submitted an ad to a local classified advertising type flyer yesterday.
Free: Peacocks. You trap them - you can have them.


  1. Way to go Meems. Good idea about the ad in the paper. They are beautiful creatures but it would be a bit unnerving to have them stomping around on your roof. I would be afraid those big claws would tear up your shingles.

    Good picture of them roosting in your tree. I wonder what the other birds think of them??

    The Pileated Woodpeckers are probably getting ready to nest which would make them more vocal and active.

  2. Lisa,
    I was wondering if that was the case for the woodpeckers. The Red Shouldered Hawks are nesting right now and they are increasingly active. We have a lot of them around here but I treasure the sound of their voice and calling to one another through the high tree tops.

    I don't think the other birds mind the peacocks. But it is comical to watch the usually fearless squirrels who run the roost in all the trees. I stood by observing when a couple of them cautiously approached noticing all six of the pea fowl had taken up position on those low-lying limbs. The closer they got I think they changed their minds because they turned around on second thought and took another route.

  3. Hi Meems,

    I love the Pileated Woodpecker...After spotting one last year I haven't heard him/her again. But they are wonderful to watch as they hop up and down the tree. Not sure it that is an accurate description...but it is an interesting bobbing. Lucky you to get to watch the nesting process!

    I do hope those big messy birds are adopted by someone who really can love them! What a great shot of them in the trees!


  4. Meems,

    You go girl! I'm sure someone will give those peacocks a loving home.

    The Pileated photos are great! I just love those woodpeckers. We see two in our woods from time-to-time, but think they nest at our neighbor's. We have several Downy and Red-bellied living here.


  5. I love them all, Meems, but so many large birds could leave behind quite a mess. I've had a hawk on Pollywog Creek for a couple of weeks. One morning last week he hung out for a while in the sweetgum trees in the backyard where the feeders hang, and we have found evidence in several places where songbirds have been killed. I enjoy hearing the hawk's call, too, but I think they are keeping the other birds from the feeders. =(

    LOVE your ad. What a great idea.

  6. They can be very noisy birds. There are a few on a farm not far from my parents house and you can hear them all the time. Hopefully someone will want them and take them away from your yard! Beautiful to look at but not really to listen to.

  7. Good for you! I'm still somewhat amused by peacocks roaming at large, but I can see how they would be a nuisance. Hopefully someone will want them enough to catch them.

  8. Gail,
    I think your description fits. It is a bit of a hop and I love the way their heads bob back and forth when they are busy. I hear them calling back and forth to one another all day long lately. They have plenty of choices for trees between all the neighbors.

    It does kind of surprise me that with all your tall trees you don't have more of them.

    I can't be sure how many we have around here. I just know they are making lots of their pleasant noise right now. We have the Downys and the Red-bellied as well. I adore the sounds from them both. And they all seem to be fine sharing the space.

    When you first mentioned the hawks getting the small birds it made me wonder why the hawks around here don't seem to decrease the small bird activity. We have quite a few of both. There is plenty of low lying brush for the small birds even when the hawks are lurking near by. Although I have to admit I have seen a hawk standing perch right on top of a feeder- but they don't stay long because the feeders are lower than they like to be normally.

    Are you sure you don't want these peacocks on your big piece of land? I'm just now thinking they would be perfect for you. HA.

    You are right. They can be noisy... especially during nesting and mating season which is right around the corner. I honestly like their sound as long as it is in the distance. But distance is relative because they are so loud that their voice carries easily. My biggest concern is their trampling through the garden and their poo everywhere.

  9. Jodi,
    It IS amusing and fascinating and exotic all at once... at first! Well, I have to admit even now to see them sauntering in my neighbor's yard is all of those things still.

    But the reality is all the neighbors are now overly annoyed at the nuisance their random yet consistent visits cause in our yards. No one else has a vegetable garden but other tender plants are being ruined.

    And truth be told it isn't even fair to the peacocks. There are too many of them traveling together and they really should be somewhere that people aren't shooing them away from the food they are searching for. Hopefully we can soon come up with a solution.

  10. There's this old folktale about their horrendous voice ... apparently they caught sight of their very ugly feet while preening one day and what you hear is their voicing of the sheer injustice, the ignominy, the oh-no-why-me-? :D
    Meems, I wish I could take them off your hands (and your roof/ tree)They are excellent at spotting snakes and I need to keep some cobras on the other side of the garden wall.

  11. I hope you find a taker for your peacocks. I can't imagine having them on the roof of my house, especially that many.

    I don't think I've ever seen a female before. They really aren't very attractive.

  12. I don't know, Meems, the peacocks are beautiful but look a bit scary perched in your oak. I also delight in my handsome Pileated woodpecker at the cottage ~ "He comes with the place," the realtor said when we bought it 10 years ago.

  13. I wonder why no one will trap them and move them to a better habitat? They are pretty although I wouldn't want them hanging around all the time. Will they damage your roof? I am about to call the dog catcher for the inconsiderate neighbors who let there dogs trample and pee on my flowers. Not to mention one german shepard that acts like he wouldn't mind taking a bite of me for a snack!

  14. Peacocks are beautiful birds - but the sound of them makes me want to cover my ears. And I am quite sure it's no fun having them in your garden, or in your trees, or on your roof....
    I hope they are gone by now.


  15. In Austin I guess a pileated woodpecker would be more rare than the peacocks - think they're found in East Texas.

    If the ad doesn't work do you have Craigslist in your area, Meems? People come and dig things up - maybe they'd come and catch the peafowl.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  16. Wow. We all have our various forms of "nature" to contend with, don't we? I guess I should be glad I've got moles instead of peacocks. They are beautiful though. Hopefully someone will take you up on your offer. The woodpecker is beautiful too.

  17. Meems, I'm sorry they are in such massive quantities down your way! I think even the females are pretty...because they still have some blue...but if they are such a nuisance I wouldn't want them, either. The pileated is one of my favorites too...Since I have trees they've made my yard a fairly regular stop. I have a few neighbors who think THEY are nuisances and ruin trees. I guess it's 'to each his own' when it comes to birds; but I agree with you!

  18. Aren't those woodpeckers marvellous! Still remember the first time I heard their giant BONKBONKBONK on the old tree outside the house. And the peacocks - how wonderfully exotic, barring removal found this link Meems for Roasted Peacock from Gourmet Magazine:

  19. Hey Meems,
    Peacocks on the roof? Yikes! I would be calling all around as well. How about the deposed Mr Salisbury from the Tampa Zoo. Isn't he trying to get a Wild Animal Park started out in Pasco? Maybe he'd like them.

  20. Do you think if you captured the male and hauled it off somewhere that maybe the females would leave? I've only seen the peacocks in a zoo. We have so many dogs around here that I doubt they would have a good chance at hanging around.

  21. Sunita,
    That makes a lot of sense to me... have you seen those feet? No mistaking when they've been in the dirt in my veggie garden.
    See, YOU really need them ... so wish I could share... cobras? geesh... you need SOMETHING for sure!

    The females are lacking in brilliance. Like in so many bird speicies... the males have all the beauty.

    A great selling point I imagine. Yes, they come with the place around here too.

    No government agency will be responsible for them saying they are exotics. There are no laws against exterminating them either. Dogs can be a problem when neighbors are not responsible but fortunately we don't have any of that going on right now. I wish you the best with the german shepherd.

    They are quite loud but more than that they are messy and too big to wander through the planting beds. They are still around but I'm hoping someone responds to my advertisement.

    I guess I didn't realize you wouldn't have pileated woodpeckers... their territory seems to be much of the eastern side of the country. I have thought of checking with Craig's list... thanks for the reminder.

    Yes, we all have our stuff. At least moles are considerably smaller... although they probably don't wander away periodically like the peacocks.

    Some of the peacocks pictured in the trees are juvenile males. They take about 2 years to grow those long tail feathers. That blue is just so vivid and striking. And some of the brown tail feathers are absolutely gorgeous as well.

    All my neighbors like the pileated even though they can do their fair share of drilling.

    Too funny.I don't think I'll post the photos of peacock dinner... doubt anyone would appreciate that!

  22. oh wow, i train on your rooftops. that has got to be a little unnerving. well let's hope someone out there will see your ad and respond quickly. if not i'm up for trying to trap them and take them away. it would be an adventure. maybe i'll do some research.
    how about the zoo, they used to be there when we would go visit. someone there might be interested in having them around>? you never know!

    i do love the woodpeckers and the pileated is so large and visible.

  23. Susan,
    Great idea. I've just done a quick google and can't really find a way to get in touch with him ---maybe he will see my ad and take me up on the free trappings.

    Well, I can't personally trap any of them... no means really to handle it... but you might have an idea... only I fear the females would be lost without the male... hmmmm. Maybe at the least even if no one wants to come trap them someone will know enough about them and give me some knowledgeable advice as to what to do. I have high hopes anyway. Ha.

  24. Perhaps the Zoo would have a way of knowing how to contact Mr Salisbury

  25. Hi Marmee,
    More like a small train... gosh when the squirrels are chasing each other across the roof it is loud enough. The main concern is the peacock's claw type feet pulling up shingles. I do think I'll give the zoo a call next week... even if they don't want them they might know of someone who will come get them.

    I will find out next week. Good idea.

  26. Your peacocks does bring to mind the saying about "too much of a good thing." While they are unique and pretty, one or two would be enough. Good luck with your newpaper ad.

    Always Growing

  27. Peacocks in your garden. That's weird. Here, we can only see them in the zoo.

  28. That woodpecker is gorgeous. Sorry to hear the peacocks so love your space. And your rood? Crazy.

  29. Meems,
    I know you are getting tired of them, but my, how beautiful they are!--Randy

  30. Oh they are magnificent birds! The peacocks, I mean. I also like the pileated woodpeckers, but thought they lived only in the north. Don't know why.
    I also saw one pileated woodpecker in my back yard last week. I hope its a sign that spring will soon be here.

  31. I don't blame them. I would totally hangout in your garden, too :)

  32. Jan,
    Thank you. Problem is the neighborhood started with 2. Then as all natural things go... two became 6!

    I wish it were the case here. The zoo is where they belong ... OR on someones acreage with tall trees for them to roost.

    They get up high when threatened. Once they've foraged and are resting they will also perch on the roof and in the trees.

    I know. I know. Always that two-edged sword!

    They are magnificent... both the peacocks and the pileated... in different ways. I hope spring will visit you soon as well.

    You are too funny. Although I don't think the peacocks are picky... it's more like they're stuck... in my neighborhood.


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