Prideful peacock graces Oakland hills with plumage, great presence

Peacock in the Oakland Hills.

There was a bit of an unusual sight captured on video and in still images in the Oakland hills on Thursday. A peafowl, in all its elegant glory, was seen perched from its vantage point, looking contemplative as it gazes at the city and hills below. 

The feathered friend, looking oh, so regal, struts its stuff; brilliant blue and green plumage. 

This fancy fowl is almost looking stoic for a bit. 

The peafowl's presence may be perplexing to some, so we checked with some local wildlife experts for the scoop on the Bay Area's peacock population. 

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens has a page on their website dedicated to Indian peafowl. One official there says they are obviously not a native species, but as far as status in the wild is concerned, the International Union for Conservation of Nature says they are of least concern since they have a large, stable population in the wild. These birds are native to India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

According to the zoo, peacocks (male) and peahens (female), on average live 10 to 20 years in the wild. They also happen to be in the midst of breeding season, which lasts from April to September. 

A spokesperson from Oakland Zoo said some people have brought these birds into cities like Palo Verdes in Southern California and now there are wild peacocks roaming around. 

"I'm betting someone in Oakland brought one from an area where wild flocks are growing and let it loose in the hills. It's really sad," said Erin Dogan, vice president of marketing and communications with the Conservation Society of California and Oakland Zoo. 

Santa Rosa's Safari West, said they were unaware of anyone collecting data on or tracking the local peafowl population. They said they get phone calls sporadically of people wanting help capturing and re-homing peacocks for a variety of reasons. "Nobody wants them. They are notoriously difficult to re-home," said Kimberly Robertson. 

According to Safari West, in Sonoma County, the wildlife and bird rescue does not deal with peafowl. However, animal control will trap and remove peafowl for Sonoma County residents. 

In any event, this prideful peafowl made for a spectacular sight on a Thursday afternoon. 

Peacock in the Oakland Hills. 


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Sharon Song contributed to this story. Photos and video by Jason Appelbaum. 

This story was updated to include a response from Oakland Zoo and Safari West.