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Jun-28-2010 10:09printcommentsVideo

Mating Peacock Drawing Gunfire in Eastern Oregon

Peacock Problems in Central Oregon are not what you call an everyday situation.

Peacock mating in Oregon
Peacock mating in Oregon Photo and video by Joy Graves.

(BEND, Ore.) - One really buff and sexually charged peacock near Bend, Oregon, has been causing a fuss; the bird belongs to a local resident named Joy Graves who is trying everything possible to get the bruiser back into a contained environment.

She hasn't been able to nab the extremely striking bird, and some gun toting residents decided they want to shoot it.

Local law enforcement is aware of the situation.

As it stands, Joy has until the first of the coming month to capture the elusive male peacock.

So Graves and her family are searching for an answer, while witnessing something most people never see; that is a peacock of this stature going through the stages of life in a fairly natural environment.

This isn't your everyday problem, if you have special skills and are in the area and interested in helping, please send an email to Joy Graves at

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address:

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Leon & Francel Wyatt August 27, 2010 4:57 pm (Pacific time)

We have also experienced a problem with a male and female peacocks in Salem, Oregon in a residential area of Laurel Springs S. Salem 97302 two blocks above River Rd South near the Plaid Pantry on Elderberry Drive. No one will take responsibility and are talking about breaking their necks and having them for dinner. also shooting them with a bb gun. A real shame. They poop on your deck and roof and cry like a baby at 4:30 in the morning. have called police, humane socieny, wildlife rescue, farm animals No one will take responsibility. Any ideas out there?? Leon Wyatt

Eve Lentz June 30, 2010 8:28 pm (Pacific time)

I just saw this, today, and although it may be too late, I hope everything worked out. So happy to hear that Timm and Joy saved the others. Beautiful video, and I hope the story helped Timm and Joy out!

Joy Graves June 29, 2010 2:24 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for doing a story on this Tim!
There are actually two males that are brothers still out there in danger. These peacocks were abandoned there over 2.5 years ago by a man only known to me as "August". While searching the internet for a female "peahen" for mine, I came across a post stating there were a family of peacocks out there free needing rlocation. After contact with the poster of the ad, I learned of them being abandoned and having been deemed "feral", and that permission to shoot had been obtained by authorities from upset neighbors.
Upon my arrival, there were 7 live peacocks in this family, and one that had already been shot before I arrived.
On our first trip out, Tim Timm and I were able to catch 2 of the youngest, which were yearling males. This is when the sitation excallated even farther, leading to several 911 calls from local residents due to confrontation among them with one another because of these birds.
The man known to me as "August" had admitted to myself and others present that the birds were his but that upon a forclosure on his home, he left them "pinned" behind as he and his family moved from the area. While the man was stating this, his wife whom had also called police, was swearing to officers that their birds had been placed in a local refuge Before they vacated the home almost 3 year ago and that her husband only had interest as a former peacock owner wanting to help save the birds.
When police returned with the wife's statement, we advised police that the story was Not the one the man had directly stated and admitted to us, as he insisted that all birds we catch are his and he insisted on their return very aggressively, even yelling and cursing at neighbors unjustifiably.
The officer then decided to confront the man with our statements and he quickly crumbled and admitted that the birds had been his and his motivation was fear of prosecution as neighbors harassed by the animals called for his prosecution for several weeks before I becameaware of the situation.
Our second trip out, Tim and I again were able to capture 3 more of the birds, both of the females and then their 2 year old male son.
So, all that are left to be caught are the two eldest males, apparently brothers the same age and size as shown in the picture and video you've shown.
I estimate the boys to be about 4.5 feet long (full grown they are 5 feet). They stand about 3 feet tall and weigh approximately 10-12 pounds - too big for a fish net!
Local sheriff deputies have attempted to capture the birds several times before I got wind of the situation using different tactics, but, to no avail, these birds are highly intelligent.
All we have are "salmon nets" like for fishing. Though we were able to capture all the other birds with them, when we've gotten the net on these males, it becomes quickly apparent that these nets will Not suffice. The nets will not even cover their wings muchless gain us control of their feet, which is the only way to secure the birds for relocation safely.
Between being chased by us with nets, it being mating season (from March thru the end of July)and their women now relocated, and the excitement of constant fighting and gunshots aimed at these guys from their neighbors, they are far from calm, which means they are in extreme danger and only heightening it every moment they're out there, we've Got to catch them and do it fast before they end up dead!
Because they fall under domesticated pets, the wildlife, though they could easily catch the birds, are unable to offer assistance due to statutes.
All the peacock handlers and sanctuaries we've talked to said "catch peacocks in the wild, good luck!".
Even the zoo an the autobon society have no equipment or assistance to offer, other than upset and outrage that no criminal charges for abandonment are going to be persued on this guy from law enforcement and that murdering the birds is the birds fate if I cannot catch and relocate them A.S.A.P. here with the rest of their family.
As things came to a head in this community in my and police presence, the sheriff's office declared the birds officially my property and have spared the birds exicution until the first in the hopes I can catch and bring them to their new home in the south valley.
But even so, the neighbors are far from calm and continue to fight and bicker amongst eachother and police lnes are lighting up day and night. Deputies have said should the upset continue they will come and shoot the birds themselves.
The email address you gave to contact me is long full and cannot receive messages, so, please, if there is Anyone out there who can offer any sort of help and or even suggestion, please contact me directly via my cell phone at (714)-421-6060 and leave a message if I don't get to it in time, or, if it's ok with you guys, have them email you or post here and you can forward the info to me, my emails are not functioning properly (computer issues) or I'd happily give them because this is a serious and important situation, innocent lives are at stake.
Again, I thank you so very much for taking the time to cover this story and situation, and I appreciate all the assistance anyone is willing to give. I will keep you posted as to our progress, but, I am told that shots are being fired despite the stay until the first, so, the sooner we can get these guys safely to the south valley and back with there women and kids, the better! Thank you all, and thank you Tim King and Salem-News for your assistance. You guys are wonderful and good hearted people!

lol June 28, 2010 6:45 pm (Pacific time)

call fish and wildlife, they usually have good ideas and or the county extension

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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