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SoCal Is A Peacock’s Paradise, We Explore Why That Is




A peacock walks along a sidewalk at the Los Angeles Country Arboretum and Botanic Garden on June 13, 2021.
A peacock walks along a sidewalk at the Los Angeles Country Arboretum and Botanic Garden on June 13, 2021.
James Chow | AirTalk

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Owning a peacock was once considered a status symbol, particularly around the turn of the twentieth century. Elias J, "Lucky" Baldwin, founder of Arcadia, imported several pairs of peafowl—known colloquially as peacocks—from India to his Santa Anita Ranchero in 1879. Since then, peafowl have roamed the streets of San Gabriel Valley and even Palos Verdes, which has resumed its bird trapping.

Most recently, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors drafted an ordinance last Tuesday prohibiting the intentional feeding of the bird. 

While peafowl may be a sight to see in all its colorful plumage, some folks are not happy about the birds showing up in neighborhoods. The increase in sightings may be due to a virulent Newcastle disease that has caused them to quarantine in residential areas, the Washington Post reports. Furthermore, efforts to relocate the birds have been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today on AirTalk, we discuss the history of the peafowl in Southern California and explore why the area is so ideal for the birds to settle in. Are these colorfully feathered birds a pretty sight for the eye or more of an eyesore in your community? Give us a call at (866) 893-5722.

With guest host Sharon McNary

Guests: 

Kimball Garrett, ornithology collections manager at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Richard Schulhof, CEO of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden