Gilbert community coming together to help care for loose peacock

Usually, you’d have to go to a zoo to see a peacock, but a Gilbert neighborhood found one in their backyards.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 5:07 PM MST|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 3:58 PM MST
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GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- It’s blue and green and on the run! A peacock is on the loose in the East Valley. After the community found its owner, they’re teaming up to care for the exotic bird.

Usually, you’d have to go to a zoo to see a peacock, but a Gilbert neighborhood found one in their backyards. It’s taken a whole community effort to figure out where it belongs. “I was working and looked outside my window and saw its tail, and it really caught my eye; it’s blue,” said Mike Leathers, a Gilbert resident.

As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. Only this time, one is on the run! “It’s as if he’s looking into my office and wants to come in,” Leathers said. Last Thursday, he says the peacock took up residence in his courtyard. “I couldn’t believe it. I was yelling for my kids, you got to see there’s a peacock down here. I’m just like, where is everybody? This is incredible,” Leathers said.

But it wasn’t long before his feathered friend was on the move again. This time, the bird found a home in a different neighborhood. “Here’s one at my door; here’s a peacock on the roof. Yesterday my neighbor said, ‘Hey, it’s on your fence’ and sent me a really great photo. And I thought, ‘okay, someone is missing their peacock,’” said Christine Hough, another Gilbert resident.

Hough was determined to find out who owned the beautiful bird, so she posted it on Facebook. “It’s been a fun little thing for the community. Like hey, I have the peacock in my yard,” Hough said.

Shortly after, someone had a hunch as to where he came from. David Barraza has a ranch with tons of peacocks about a mile away. “Over the years, we’ve had close to ninety. Ninety, yeah, peacocks,” Barraza said. He’s raised them for 26 years. They have a fence and usually stay put, but it’s mating season. “There’s so many they’re all over the neighborhood. Everywhere. They’re birds so they can fly away,” he explained.

Barraza is disabled and can’t catch the peacock himself. “I can’t walk too much. So that’s why. Unless they bring it over here,” he said. He’s thankful the neighborhood is caring for his outdoor pet and hopes the bird finds its way back soon. “I haven’t heard anyone complain; it’s more of a novelty,” Hough said.

So if you stumble upon one, what should you do? Barraza says they don’t require much, but you can leave out some berries and water or leave them be.