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Whether up-sizing, down-sizing, or just changing your view, moving to a new place means making adjustments.
Who is killing these peacocks in Palos Verdes?

Who is killing these peacocks in Palos Verdes?

If the dream is living off-the-grid in a self-sustaining manner, do you turn your version of rural heaven into a suburban subdivision?

Bringing old habits to a new environment isn’t a recipe for change. Do that and you might as well stay where you are.

Who moves into the woods and the first thing they do is clear-cut the area? Bad neighbors and poor stewards of the land.

You can jump on a stump and complain that you’re freedom is the issue. Since you own the land you think you can do as you please, and you’d be wrong.

Baby boomers learned from others’ mistakes and did something about it. Environmental consciousness means not dumping old motor oil down a storm drain. Don’t pour old paint in the toilet. It seems elementary, doesn’t it?

So what’s the first thing new residents do when they move into an area like Palos Verdes featuring wild peacocks? Go on a killing spree?

Bad choice.

Your favorite blogger has heard the peacocks of Palos Verdes.

It sounds like this: “MAY-OWWWWWW, MAY-OWWWWW.”

The birds rule the roost in Palos Verdes, but it’s not like seagulls at the county dump. Instead, it’s an area where people and animals live together. The key word is together.

A ranch is where people live off animals. The cows aren’t pets, they are a means to making a living. It’s a way of life, though not for the livestock.

Anyone driving I-5 from Oregon to LA has seen the Harris Ranch. First you smell it, then you see a dark rug in the distance. Get closer and the rug turns into thousands of cows covering the hills. Closer still and you’ll see the restaurant. If you still want a burger after the smell of cows and the view of fields, pull over.

Palos Verdes isn’t a ranch, and you can’t get a peacock burger, but you still smell the country when you leave your car. Earthy animal smells aren’t usually associated with Los Angeles. It’s a welcome surprise.

If there’s such a place as animal heaven, this is it. From dogs, to burros, to horses, the critters have a sense of calm around them knowing they won’t be on the dinner table anytime soon.

Peacocks are part of the deal. They’re in the yard, on the roof, up in trees, and they are amazing. The birds walking around the Portland Zoo have a good thing, but it that nature? Seeing them work the environment with humans and the rest of the animal kingdom on a home front shows how amazing they are.


“So many dead birds have been found that officers from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Los Angeles (SPCLA) are increasing surveillance: 47 dead peafowl have been found over the last two years. Two were found last weekend, one with a telltale injury.

“It had buckshot, which is bullets that are shot from a shotgun, embedded, which caused fractures to its legs,” said animal-cruelty investigator SPCALA Lt. Cesar Perea, Animal Protection Services.

The birds are noisy. Some residents complain of damage to their roofs and cars. But hurting the birds is a crime.

Twelve peafowl have been killed by BBs; 15 were killed by vehicles; five from poisoning; one from blunt-force trauma; and one was killed with a crossbow.”

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and hearing a peacock call nearby, then an answer further away, then a faint return call. It’s the peacock party line, not a call to arms. You don’t need to jump out of bed with your crossbow and fix the problem.

If that’s your idea of a solution, you’re the problem.

A quick history from

“…among the 8,000 residents, the backyard chickens and the horse stables are hundreds of Indian peafowl — also known as peacocks and peahens. They roost in the trees, roam the canyons and fields, rest in backyards.

The peafowl arrived here in the early 20th century, brought to the estate of Mr. Frank Vanderlip — a banker and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and one of the peninsula’s first developers. His original 16 birds grew into the flocks that dot the Palos Verdes Peninsula.”

They add the exotic feel of the place. Peacock killers add a reminder of bad intentioned people.

No one needs to hear a comparison of bird killers to Charlie Manson, but there is a penalty if caught: Three years in prison.

Before your next peacock execution, ask yourself how you want to spend the next three years. Boomers know how to adapt, but what do you tell your new jail roommate? How do you explain your crime to another criminal?






About David Gillaspie
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