True to everything ostentatious that it symbolizes, a male peacock flew the coop from the Central Park Zoo Tuesday and took up residence on a fifth floor window sill of 838 Fifth Ave., where apartments routinely sell for more than $20 million.
It’s possible something unusual spooked the bird, causing it go AWOL. It’s also likely he’s about 3-years-old, when peacocks reach sexual maturity and two things occur that could encourage it to flee, according to peacock expert Dennis Fett.
“The other males, who have tolerated him up till now, will chase him away,” at the same time a male peacock gets to hankering for his own turf, said Fett, author of two books on peacocks and founder of peafowl.com.
The spectacle of a peacock loose on the Upper East Side captured the imagination of New Yorkers, drawing crowds and inspiring two accounts posting messages as the bird on, appropriately enough, Twitter.
The Wildlife Conservation Society said the bird “poses no danger to anyone. We ask everyone not to follow or harass the bird . . . We are hopeful he will either fly back to the zoo or we will retrieve him nearby.”
Coaxing the bird down won’t be a strut in the park, Fett said. If a rescue via FDNY ladder or cherry picker is employed, he’ll likely fly away. The best bet might be watchful waiting, he said.
“At some point, he’ll get hungry or thirsty and he¹ll have to fly down,” said Fett, who uses fishing nets and a special technique (the gloved right hand grasps the powerful legs while his sleeved left arm encases the winged body) to capture errant birds. “It will be much easier to catch him once he’s on the ground,” he explained.
Peacocks, the largest of all the pheasants with a wingspan of six feet, are notoriously tenacious and intelligent, and have been known to warn people of hurricanes and earthquakes, said Fett. They are also, umm, rather randy. “A peacock is like a male at a bar: He’ll mate with anything,” said Fett.
(With Shawniquica Henry)