A peacock is ruffling feathers in a Yaphank neighborhood, where residents said the bird has temporarily taken up residence in yards and trees in the past several days.
Lauren Lorandini, 35, said she first became aware of the bird on Friday, when she received multiple alerts that her home security system was being triggered. She called police, but found out the supposed intruder was actually just looking to steal a bit of sunshine.
The bird was sunbathing in Lorandini’s driveway when she got home around 6:30 p.m., she said, and then it took off across Yaphank-Middle Island Road.
“He was beautiful. I’ve never been that close to a peacock,” Lorandini said Saturday morning. “I can still hear him making noise — I don’t know where he is now. I’m assuming he’s in my neighbors’ yard.”
Laura Soehren, of Middle Island, said she was driving to work along Yaphank-Middle Island Road on Friday morning when she thought she saw a peacock in the yard of a home. Her suspicions were confirmed when she saw the bird again on her way home. Several other people had also stopped to check on the bird.
“I tried calling two rescue places, but I don’t know if the bird is owned by someone,” Soehren said.
Lorandini said she was initially concerned about the bird’s safety because the road is busy. But after multiple calls to police, the Town of Brookhaven and wildlife organizations, she was told the bird should be left alone unless it is injured.
It’s unclear whether the bird is a recently escaped pet or has been in the wild longer. Peacocks are not native to Long Island.
A Suffolk County police spokeswoman said officials have not received any formal calls about a peacock. Town of Brookhaven animal control did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
It’s not the first time peacocks have shown up in a Long Island neighborhood. In 2015, a neighborhood in Brookhaven hamlet began feeding a peacock that warmed itself near homeowners’ hot tubs. Eventually, a small family of peafowl appeared in that community, attracting local media attention.
In 2016, police in Lloyd Harbor and Huntington were led on a wild peacock chase when a Lattingtown bird named Pea, one of a bonded pair owned by farmer Eddie Armstrong, flew the coop. Pea was reunited with its owner and buddy after being captured with a bedsheet.
About 5 miles from the most recent peacock sightings, homeowners in another Yaphank neighborhood off Yaphank Avenue said Saturday that their local peacock — which showed up under similar circumstances — later disappeared.
The bird just arrived one day several years ago, said Cynthia Tooker, 46, and it stayed nearby when she and her neighbors began feeding it and gave it a name — Petey. She said it even recognizes her car and will stop by when it wants a snack.
She said the bird usually roams free, but takes an occasional vacation. It remains unclear whether the bird spotted recently is Petey.
“There’s been a few occasions where we’ll not see him for a week and then he comes back,” she said. “We don’t know where he goes.”