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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Relocating aggressive peacocks


A peacock in the process of damaging a car

Other than the coconut itself, nothing in Coconut Grove is more emblematic of our neighborhood than the Peacock.  Its beauty and elegance are so fitting with our lush canopy.  I love it when the peacocks come around my home and am happy that we have them.

Damage to a car done by peacocks
Some neighborhoods, however, have experienced a significant population explosion that has become out of control and dangerous for the birds.  Hundreds can be spotted within a few blocks, and they have been hit by cars.  The overpopulation has also caused the males to become aggressive as they are competitive for females.  As you can see in the attached video and photo, they see their own reflection in parked cars and use their hind claws to attack.  Many instances of this property damage have been brought to my attention as your Commissioner.  While priority for peacock safety remains, I do understand our responsibility to address this issue of overpopulation in certain areas.

Throughout the County, residents are allowed to call for removal of peafowl from their property.  In the City of Miami, however, bird protections disallow residents and even the government to address the overpopulation issue.  For this reason, I have been seeking advice from Tropical Audubon Society and studying how other cities have worked on this. In next week’s city commission meeting, I am proposing an amendment to our code to allow the City to carefully and humanely address this issue where necessary. It is a first reading of the ordinance and is open to amendment to make sure that we continue to protect peacocks and get this right.

This legislation will allow the city to study the population throughout the various neighborhoods and where necessary, work together with vetted, humane relocation specialists to take some of the birds to vetted, humane sanctuaries.  Most neighborhoods will see no relocation at all. To be clear, this will not allow residents to conduct their own removals and neighbors cannot simply call up the city for removal because they do not like peacocks.  There will be a process, and the result will be a healthy population with periodic relocation.  Please feel free to contact my office with any questions, concerns, or recommendations.  First reading of the legislation will be next Thursday at City Commission.  Public Comment begins after 9 am.  

Ken Russell
City of Miami Commission

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Anonymous Ken Russell said...

Based on feedback I have already received, there will be amendments to the legislation to make sure the intent and controls are clear. The concern is that the legislation will let the City Manager remove however many he wants at any time. This is not true. The goal is status quo (meaning leave the birds alone) everywhere except where population explosion has gotten to the point that cause aggressive male peacocks. I will amend to make sure that is clear.

I know it’s hard to believe, but these population spikes make it so that small kids and pets can’t even walk in the neighborhood. Priority will remain the safety and humane treatment of the birds in a way that lets us live in harmony.

October 20, 2019 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Sylvia Cherry said...

Anonymous said...
I have lived here for 24 years on various streets and I have not ever encountered an aggressive peacock. When they see me or a grandkid they run or fly away. The problem is that there are some people that insist on feeding them which makes them congregate and become a huge nuisance for neighbors nearby. It is counterproductive and not even kind to feed them. It just makes neighbors want to get rid of them. Please stop feeding the peacocks!

October 20, 2019 10:03 AM  
Blogger CMT said...

Thank you so very much Commissioner Russell for tackling this issue. I truly appreciate your help in finding a humane solution to the overabundance of peacocks in our neighborhoods. At any given time, there can be 50 or more on our streets, in our yards, on our roofs & trees - destroying our property, interrupting our sleep, aggressively attacking & severely damaging cars, the list goes on and on....and with each mating season the numbers increase. In fact, we have guests that come to our house and we have to provide covers for their vehicles. Everything needs to be in moderation or at some point, only peacocks will be in the Grove - as most of us will be forced to move! Cindy McCall

October 20, 2019 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of a sudden two weeks before an election Russell is going to fix this when he has ignored it for the past four years (and ignored the whole district while running for Congress)? He's making wild promises now to voters because everyone has seen his fundraising and knows he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers and real estate interests (including from out of state)!

For anyone who doesn't believe here: https://www.voterfocus.com/CampaignFinance/candidate_pr.php?op=cv&e=2&c=muncitymiami&ca=36&rellevel=3&committee=N

Albert Weinstein

October 20, 2019 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There, that is a good suggestion, forbid feeding peacocks, and control the cat population too.

October 20, 2019 1:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bill Talbert. 1601 Nocatee.
Peacock just attacked my car..not the first time....attack results in damage to the car.I would not known if my neighbor had not told me.
'There Back'!...
Bill Talbert. 1601 Nocatee.
damage means ultimately I will have to repaint my car....it's that much damage.
Thanks Commissioner Russell for tackling this issue.....
Bill Talbert. 1601 Nocatee.

October 20, 2019 2:31 PM  
Blogger Manny Alonso-Poch said...

Peacocks have been a blessing and a nuisance for years. Curious how 23 weeks before the election Comm. Russell takes interest. He should have addressed the peacocks 49 months ago instead of abandoning our neighborhoods to run for congress. Voters should remember Russell originally campaigned as the “Champion of Parks”. Soon after his election he abandoned District 2 to run for Congress. After that he became the deciding voted to convert Mel Reese Park - the City's biggest green area - into a 1Million SF mega mall with no parking. He has refused to commit opposing the Carrollton proposal to build a 400 student school on super congested So. Bayshore Drive. He turned Kennedy Park into a late night sports park from athe nature park it has been since 1972. After 4 years, his body of work is short and the list of political missteps, betrayals and self serving actions is long.
Manny Alonso-Poch - North Coconut Grove

October 20, 2019 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nevermind the peacocks, why don't you tackle some real problems like speeding traffic through the Grove and lack of bike Lanes everywhere. It would be nice not to fear for my life every time I bike through the center Grove with my family. Not to mention the lack of decent public transportation. I actually like peacocks because they are way more efficient at slowing down traffic in the Grove than our elected officials or police.

October 21, 2019 8:05 AM  
Anonymous MBS said...

The peacock problem is mostly in 2 neighborhoods in the North Grove. A lady on Nethia Drive, near Alatka, feeds them twice a day. You can see 50 peacocks in her front yard. Since it is in her private property, the city cannot stop the feeding.
My friends live half a block away. A visit for dinner ended up with dents on our brand new Porsche from Peacocks pecking at it. Their neighbor came out with a hose and sprayed water on them til they left our car alone. I have photos of the house where the lady feeds them and photos of the car damage, but I can't upload them here.
I love Peacocks --- and when I moved into the South Grove 35 years ago, I thought they were beautiful. I still do.
A few peacocks, not 50 attacking cars and kids.
If you live in the South Grove or an area that is unaffected by this, then great. You won't feel the change. But please support something that is helping protect your neighbors in the North Grove.
I think it is truly amazing that Russell took on this issue just before elections. That was brave of him. This is a sensitive issue which other commissioners have tried to avoid (except for Sarnoff who wanted to use birth control and poison on rooftops to curb the peacock population...) Russell, has come up with something with the Audobon Society that is humane.
A win win!! Thanks! -- Mike

October 21, 2019 10:16 AM  
Blogger Sledge said...

If instead of feeding we start being a bit playful with them they'll continue to respect us humans. When I see them I often scare them or aim the bike at them so they get a little exercise for the day. It's fun, safe and sends a clear message to the daring birds. Love to have them around, but they need to be taught to behave.

October 21, 2019 12:07 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

Actually cats also work. I used to have a wild one, one of the big ones with stripes, back in college. That little beast would keep any other wild urban forms of life at bay, especially since we didn't feed him regularly, so he had to complement his daily diet with pigeons or anything else.

If you own a reflective SUV that attracts dumb male peacocks in heat, I say get a wild cat, and don't feed him often. Just a little milk under the SUV. They like to stay away from the sun and the heat from cars. I guarantee you them stupid peacocks will not approach your vehicles anymore.

October 21, 2019 12:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have lived in the Grove for 26 yrs. They are out of control, in Bayheights they are everywhere. They leave feces all over my porch, backyard and cars. Tbey peck at the roof and cars. And in various ocations they fly down from trees and my kids have to dock out of the way not to be hit. For years we have mentioned this to the city and they have ignored it or use bird sanctuary as an excuse not to do anything. And if Russell is elected he will continue to ignore tbe issue, even though he decided to address it a few weeks before election!

October 21, 2019 1:21 PM  
Anonymous LAG said...

I have thousands of dollars in property damage and have to remove poop from my pool and deck all due to the peacock over-population which is an example of the law of unintended consequences. The City Code protecting peacocks, like any other law, rule or regulation can and should be amended as a community's needs and priorities evolve.

I would urge anyone not to fall prey to the Argument from Incredulity fallacy, i.e., "I have never experienced/seen them being aggressive therefore it doesn't happen," or a resort to the extreme accusation of "you want to exterminate peacocks," which is uttered by the pro-peacock crowd as an attempt to stifle discussion and rational amendment to the law. Something has to and should be done. Having to "like it or move" should not be a condition for living in the Grove.

October 23, 2019 11:17 AM  
Blogger Sledge said...

How about if we organize a community effort to relocate 5 dozen peacocks right on Russell's backyard and driveway? Perhaps he might do something about it after the election.

October 23, 2019 1:27 PM  

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