Creston-Kenilworth neighbors watch over local peacock
In August, a number of new street signs were posted along S.E. Gladstone Street between 28th Place and 30th Avenue. The signs advised, "Peacock Crossing—Please Drive Slow."
Neighbors and business owners in the area understand the significance of the signs: Their favorite peacock, Sir Wellington Peacock of Kenilworth, who has wandered the area since spring while frequently displaying his gorgeous fan, is in need of protection.
Elizabeth A. Durham McPherson, Chair of the Neighborhood Association, tells us, "He loves to come to my garden on S.E. 29th to drink from my pond out front â€“ with the metal flamingos there." Carrie Padian, owner of nearby Unicorn Bake Shop, reports, "He usually comes in the mornings when I arrive at work." Lillian Cox at nearby Best Friends Coffee Shop says, "He commonly frequents this corner. I've seen him several times, and I put out some water and sesame seeds for him."
Graphic Designer Amy Westphal, on nearby 28th Place, recalls, "I first saw him in March. I raise some chickens, and all of a sudden one morning I heard them squawking and making a lot of noise. I went outdoors to see what was happening, and found this peacock perched over them." Nobody's quite sure where the peacock came from, although he might be related to the wandering group in the Woodstock area. It's understood that some folks obtain peacocks as pets, and then when they tire of them turn them loose. The Oregon Zoo, which years ago decided to do without peacocks, is unwilling to take them…so they wander the streets.
Anyway, Sir Wellington seems to have made a home for himself in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, wandering and preening on neighbors' rooftops, and sleeping in an evergreen tree at night. Peacocks see their reflections in the shiny hubcaps of parked cars and, believing they are seeing another peacock, may leap at the "intruder" â€“ squawking loudly and defending their territory with their foot spurs.
A resident commented, "Initially, I think peacocks came from Africa, and they can be very territorial. I'm surprised the coyotes haven't bothered him, but since peacocks roost at night in the treetops, I guess they can't sneak up on him." A peahen has been sighted in the area, and the two birds may be acquainted. Meantime, Sir Wellington has his own Instagram account to document his activities -- @portland_peacock â€“ which consists mostly of photos of the bird wandering about the area, occasionally displaying his colorful, multi-eyed tail feathers. Many folks leave out food and water for him, since he's such a local celebrity. If you see him while driving, please observe the signs, and don't run him down!
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