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Bird of mysterious origin brings joy to residents as he draws people outside to watch him preen

Ken Hopstad's quiet Milwaukie neighborhood would look like any other except for one colorfully feathered resident who often roams the streets and hangs out on porches.

Charlie the peacock greeted KOIN 6 News on Hopstad's porch recently.

Porches are "his No. 1 place to be at," Hopstad said. "We leave him seeds and Dave's Killer Bread."

Charlie has brought the neighborhood a lot of joy during his daily walkabouts in what has been an otherwise grim time because of the pandemic.

"It gives you a reason to say hello to your neighbors," Hopstad said.

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - Milwaukie residents don't know where Charlie the peacock came from but they've come up with theories like he escaped from a sanctuary or captivity.Two of those neighbors, Bonnie Folick and Justin Messina, enjoy Charlie.

"I just love him. I think he's beautiful," Folick said. "It's always fun to see him and I see him at different houses."

Messina said he first ran into Charlie several years ago. "My sister was, like, 'Dude! You gotta go outside. There's a peacock outside!'"

Charlie will sometimes fan his feathers to scare away squirrels. Most times he likes to sit and clean himself.

The HopstadsCOURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - Charlie the peacock spends his time in Milwaukie eating donated Dave's Killer Bread, grooming himself and staring at his own reflection. noticed Charlie spent a lot of time looking through the front window of their home — and then they realized he just likes looking at his reflection.

Charlie might be vain but he has people interacting with other people from a safe distance. Hopstad, who is working on a children's book about Charlie's adventures, said the peacock is out most days and only leaves when it turns dark.

They don't know where he came from but they like to come up with theories — like, he escaped from a sanctuary or captivity.

"He could be a fugitive on the run. He doesn't want anyone to find him," Messina said. "I couldn't say he's exactly keeping a low profile. Everyone knows him around here. It's not like he could hide his face on a milk carton if he wanted to."


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