By Elaine Ross, Houston Audubon
Houstonians are noticing an increase in peafowl in their neighborhoods and have been reaching out to local organizations for information on peacocks and peahens. Seeing a bright blue and green peafowl can be a surprising sight on your roof, but they are a familiar neighbor in some Houston neighborhoods. We have answered frequently asked peafowl-related questions below:
What are these birds?
The most common species of domesticated peafowl is the Indian peafowl. They originated from India but have been introduced across the globe. The males and females tend to look very different. The typical peafowl with the large colorful tail is the male (peacock) while the females (peahen) are mostly brown and lack the signature tail. Color morphs, such as albino, are common. Even with their bright colors, you often hear them before you see them. Peafowl have very loud calls.
Where did they come from?
Feral populations have been roaming around the Westchase district for decades, potentially since the 1980’s, and have become part of the local community. There have been other sightings recently across other parts of the city, including Pearland. Peafowl wandering Houston neighborhoods are escaped domesticated birds from private or public facilities.
Why are they suddenly in my neighborhood?
As Houston neighborhoods experience increased construction, local feral peafowl populations are being pushed out of their roosting spots. This the main reason why you might see an increase of peafowl sightings in your neighborhood hanging out on your roof or in the street.
Does the Houston Audubon take in peafowl?
No, we do not accept any birds.
What should I do if I find an injured peafowl?
If the peafowl is injured or an orphaned chick, call the Wildlife Center of Texas at (713) 861-9453.
What can I do if there is a peafowl in my neighborhood?
You can attempt to move them from the street if it is safe to do so. You can assist in getting them off the streets through the gentle use of water.
You can also call your local animal control to get them removed if you believe that they are in danger.
It could be a potentially lost pet. You can call your local animal shelters and/or post on social media to see if anybody has lost a pet peafowl.
I have a peafowl in my possession that I have rescued. What should I do with the bird?
You can bring the peafowl to local bird sanctuary such as the Gulf Coast Exotic Bird and Exotic Animal Sanctuary. They prefer to be contacted by text message at (281) 682-7470. They are located at 2815 County Rd 56, Rosharon, TX 77583.