Thursday, April 2nd0.2°C

Naramata in a peacock flap

Video: Deborah Pfeiffer

The appearance of three young peacocks at The Centre at Naramata this week, has created some concern.

Executive director Janet McDonald said the birds, which she believes to be two males and one female, showed up Tuesday morning in front of the centre.

"It is worrying because we have children coming and it's a busier time of year for the centre," said McDonald. "I am working with  Karla Kozakevich on the matter and hopefully it will be resolved."

Kozakevich, the RDOS Naramata director, said the arrival of the birds is a mystery.

What makes it even stranger, is there have only been two males living in the village.

"I am wondering where they came from, if it is immaculate conception, because to the best of my knowledge there is no female," she said.

The ongoing presence of the birds in the small community has created a split in recent years.

Tourists love them and those who don't live in the village appreciate them.

But others are annoyed, because their droppings cover patios and cars, their talons leave scratches on vehicles and the calls they make can sound like cats fighting.

According to Naramata resident Craig Henderson, who wrote about the peacocks in his book, "Naramata Chronicles," a peahen and two male chicks arrived in the village in 2007. 

One of the chicks died  and the other grew into a colourful peacock.

After he reached adulthood, he and the peahen, who some residents named Pearl, had three offspring.

The peacock population continued to grow, and in the fall of 2010 the peahen and her current chicks were whisked away to a petting zoo in Keremeos.

The move made to prevent more offspring from being born, upset some residents, said Kozakevich.

But in recent years, things appeared to calm down with just the male birds remaining.

"I had thought it had all died down," she said. "But now it's starting all over again. Just today, while I'm at the SILGA conference I got an email from an upset resident saying something needs to be done, this is getting out of hand."

What to do about the peacocks is a gray area, because no one owns them and we don't have a bylaw around complaints, she added.

The RDOS director has spoken with another politician who may know of a 10 acre hobby farm, run by a bird lover. 

"My fear is that people that can't stand them, might harm them and I don't want to see that happen," she said. "The main message I want to get out now, is we are looking for community feedback that is in the best interest of the peacocks."

On Thursday afternoon, McDonald kept a close eye on the birds, as they walked through a garden bed, peeking in windows.

Like Kozakevich, she is hoping for a positive outcome.

"They need to be in a place where they are safe, and this is not a safe place for them," she said.


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