Neighbours at Peterborough development left in a flap by early morning peacock calls

A new estate in Eye has been split not by parking disputes or bin collections, but by a peacock which is waking people up in the early hours.

Saturday, 11th May 2019, 10:13 am
William the peacock

Homeowners in Sandleford Drive would have checked out everything from nearby amenities to local schools before deciding whether to move onto the new estate, but one thing they did not bargain for is feathery friend William who decided to set up a home next to them, albeit without the burden of a mortgage.

William’s presence on top of one of the houses has split opinion among residents and even among families, including in the household of Ross Mawhinney, wife Carley and son Teddy (4). Ross said: “I personally really like him. I think it’s a lovely thing to have, but my wife is pulling her hair out!

“We have a Facebook page for residents and the debate is all about William.”

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The family moved into the estate two-and-a-half years ago, and it was not long until William made his presence known. “He sits in the roof and is calling in the night. The surrounding houses are split – some neighbours love him and feed him,” added Ross.

“He is obviously calling for a female partner – that’s what experts are telling us.

“Apparently he came from a farm in Newborough. He had a female friend and she left, so he left the farm and came here. I called the RSPCA but it won’t move him. I would like to see him get a partner and live in a natural environment.”

The RSPCA said it prioritises helping animals which are injured or suffering, and that as there are no welfare concerns for William it would “advise residents in the area to contact their local authority who deal with noise complaints”.

A spokesperson added: “Peacock calls are best described as shrill raucous shrieks. In the breeding season (April to September) peacocks will call loudly to advertise their presence to peahens. They tend to make most noise early in the morning at dawn, and late in the evening during the breeding season.

“Native to India, peacocks are usually kept as free-roaming ornamental birds on large estates in the UK, but if you see them out and about in other areas then they may have escaped from a private collection.

“In the case of stray peacocks, enquiries should be made to potential owners like local estates to check whether they have missing birds.

“Effectively deterring a peacock from your property will depend on how tame the bird is. If they have been in captivity for some time and escaped, then they will see humans as a source of food. However, if a peacock has had little or no contact with humans before, then just making a noise and waving your arms should ensure it moves away.”