A Naramata resident is upset after observing a mature peacock being taken away by an RDOS staff member on Thursday morning.
Terrie Ward said she noticed the bird being picked up near her home in the village around 7 a.m.
"This seems underhanded to do this when no one is around. I think this is truly the wrong direction to take," she said. "The RDOS should be asking all of the residents of Naramata about this, not just the complainers."
The peacock issue has divided residents in the small community for years, with some enjoying the presence of the colourful birds and others annoyed by their calls and the mess they leave behind.
It came to the forefront again in recent months, when three young ones were dropped off, joining the three mature ones already there. Since then, one young one has died and the young peahen was taken to a farm in Summerland.
RDOS director Karla Kozakevich said the staff member who showed up was simply assisting a farmer who is going to house the bird at his South Okanagan farm.
"The farmer came forward a little while ago, expressing an interest in taking the bird," she said. "And this staff member assisted because he is experienced in handling birds."
The primary reason this one, and possibly the others eventually, are being moved is because of the number of complaints she gets about the peacocks.
"They are being moved because of the complaints, verbal and in writing, from people who have just had it with the calls the peacocks make all night, as well as their feces on porches and scratches on cars," she said. "And it is for their own safety. We just had one of the young ones eaten by a predator."
Kozakevich said residents are also putting out feed for the birds, which is a bear attractant. In recent weeks, a bear attracted to food sources in the village had to be put down.
There were no plans for any more birds to be removed on Thursday, but Kozakevich said other farmers have expressed interest in them.
Ward says she is annoyed because she feels both sides should be able to weigh in on what happens with the peacocks.
"Perhaps a mail out that we could vote pro or con on the issue would be a good idea," she said. "Because I love the birds, and people who visit and other locals love the birds, and we want to keep them around."