Peacock polarizes Oakland neighborhood with shrill shriek

In a society already filled with discord and friction, the residents of one North Oakland neighborhood can add one more polarizing problem to the list: A wild peacock who recently moved in.

"It's completely divided the neighborhood," said Jesse Tieger, whose home is near the peacock.

"People are taking a stance on being pro-peacock or anti," said Amanda Nimmo.

Nimmo is firmly in the pro-peacock camp. She and her son visit him regularly where he has made himself at home in a neighbor's yard on Occidental Street.

"We make it an activity to walk down. We see a lot of other neighborhood kids too that are from the see something in the wild that is a little bit unusual and unique to our neighborhood.

So we very much enjoy having him in the area.," she said.

Some residents have named the peacock Abraham, or Bruce, or Peter or Paco. But there are others here who simply call him a noisy nuisance.

"That wailing goes on through the night and early morning. I've gotten woken up at four in the morning about 4-5 times in the last week. He's crying more and more," Tieger said. "I've moved into my middle bedroom because I couldn't sleep. I'm sleeping on a camping air mattress where I've been for 8 or 9 weeks. And I still get woken up."

Neighbors say the peacock used to live a few blocks away but moved here in March because the neighbor there stopped feeding him.

Some upset residents called authorities for help.  But haven't gotten any.

"If it were a public safety issue that would be a different circumstance," said Ann Dunn, executive director of Oakland Animal Services.

Authorities believe the noise is due to the mating season, which can extend into August.

"Vocalization stops after mating season. So whether he remains or not he should at some point be quiet," said Dunn.

"There is nothing wrong with the peacock staying if the peacock wants to stay on his own," Nimmo said.

Not everyone agrees. "A professional needs to come and relocate this bird," said Tieger.

Some neighbors plan to petition the city to treat the peacock as a nuisance or noise violation.

Others say let nature take its course.