The wayward peacock traveling around Huntington this week was captured Wednesday after a three-hour chase involving Lloyd Harbor police, residents and a woman with a fitted bedsheet.
“Hi Pea,” said owner Eddie Armstrong, 81, who for once got to the scene of a sighting before the bird disappeared.
“I was overjoyed. I couldn’t believe it went so far.”
The elusive Pea, one of a pair of peacocks at his chicken and egg farm in Lattingtown, got tangled up in thorny bushes behind Harbor Hill Drive, and that allowed Huntington resident Jennifer LaVertu to swaddle him in her bedsheet.
“We’re so elated,” LaVertu said after dropping off the bird at Armstrong’s farm. “What a feeling because we have been literally stalking this peacock for the last three days.”
Wednesday’s birdhunt started about 9:30 a.m., when Lloyd Harbor police — determined to make a rescue — dispatched officers, who spotted their target several times.
“You ever see ‘Rocky’? It’s like when he was chasing the chicken, it was hard,” Sgt. Larry Migliore said. “We just followed it and kept it safe, kept it from getting hit by a car.”
Just after 12:30 p.m., Pea finally wandered into a yard on Harbor Hill Drive, where the officers found mesh netting. They coaxed him underneath it and held the ends to keep him in place until LaVertu and Armstrong could arrive.
LaVertu, who keeps chickens in her yard, was called in by the police for her fowl-handling skills.
When she got there, the peacock had escaped once again, sparking a chase off tony residential streets, where bystanders stared at a woman with a bedsheet, her daughter, her friend and his son and three police officers tromping behind homes.
LaVertu, 44, a bookkeeper for Landscapes by Jeffco in Huntington, jokingly said she hoped she wouldn’t be fired.
“My pants are shredded,” said the rescuer. “This is the longest lunch break I’ve ever been on.”
She put the peacock in the minivan, which had the middle seat taken out years ago, then drove an hour to Armstrong’s farm with her two daughters.
“They were fighting over who gets to have him first on their laps, the mother said. “He was so sweet. He was just walking around.”
Pea left a feather beind as a souvenir in the minivan.
The bird had flown the coop April 19, leaving his pal Pea II calling out for his friend and refusing to roost at night on the Armstrongs’ rooftop, where the two fall asleep each night. The sons of Armstrong’s neighbor had named them Gerard and Gulliver. (Guess who traveled from the aptly named Peacock Lane farm?)
Reunited, Pea II fanned out his plumes.
Armstrong said he is sure the lost peacock is his because he has no white and is all blue and green: “I know his feathers.”
What happened the past few days is still a peacock mystery, and for now Pea will stay in the hen house.
“It’s mating season, so I think he went looking for a girlfriend,” Armstrong said. “He’s going to be grounded for a couple months. I’m not going to go through this again.”
LaVertu, a self-described “peacock huntress,” laughed over that: “His privileges have been plucked.”