3 peacocks get new home at ecology center

Three peacocks, who had briefly flown the coop

Three peacocks, who had briefly flown the coop from their Port Jefferson home, have moved on to accommodations at the Town of Brookhaven's Wildlife and Ecology Center in Holtsville, according to the Suffolk County SPCA. (June 7, 2013) (Credit: Suffolk County SPCA)

Three peacocks, who had flown the coop from their Port Jefferson home, have moved on to accommodations at the Town of Brookhaven's Wildlife and Ecology Center in Holtsville, according to the Suffolk County SPCA.

The SPCA was called May 31 by Port Jefferson constables, saying the creatures were on the lam, having escaped their enclosure at a home on Sheep Pasture Road and flown up to area trees, where they were making loud screaming sounds, said Roy Gross, Suffolk SPCA chief.

Shortly after, Gross said, the constables called to say they had lured the birds back to their enclosure with food.

On Thursday, Gross said, he was told by constables that the resident of the home -- where a relative formerly lived and kept the birds as pets -- asked to have them removed.

Gross said he called around and made arrangements with the Brookhaven center, where the birds -- one female and two males -- were taken Friday.

The three, all in "great, healthy condition," are in temporary quarantine before attempts are made to acclimate them with the center's seven other peacocks, who make their home in a sheltered aviary, said Kellei Burke, animal preserve caretaker for the Town of Brookhaven Highway Department, which oversees the center.

The three will dine on game bird crumble and cracked corn, along with as many bugs and eggs as they can scratch out of the ground, she said.

As for the noise, it is breeding season, she said, when peacocks make "a strange screaming, calling sound," which some -- presumably non-peacocks -- might find "a little offensive."

Said Gross, things "could have gone bad, here," as the birds might have run into the street and gotten hit or been attacked by animals.

As it is, there's a happy ending all around, he said, for the neighbors, "who can sleep well now," and for the birds, who "can make all the noise they want" over at the center.

To help defray the cost of food and veterinary care for these and the other 100 or so wild and farm animals at the center, a fundraiser is being held June 13 at the County Fair Entertainment Park, Medford, with more information at Brookhavenwildlifecenter.org.

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