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South Bay Digest

R.H. Estates

May 16, 1985

Amid peafowl squawks emanating from a tape recorder, Mayor Jerome Belsky directed residents seeking a reduction of the city's flock to poll their neighbors on how best to deal with the noisy birds. Belsky asked that the results be made known to the City Council "so we can have some feeling about what the neighborhood thinks."

Resident Jack Shnable presented a sympathetic council Tuesday with a tape recording of peafowl in full chorus. The recording was made at 5:30 a.m. on April 18 and 9:10 a.m. on May 6, he said. Shnable has lived for 28 years on Buckskin Lane, one of two principal streets in Rolling Hills Estates where wild peafowl live.

"When I first moved in you could hear one and see one once in awhile," he said after the meeting.

Shnable asked the council to consider reducing the flock, which was introduced 60 years ago, to a "sensible level" by trapping and "sharing" them with other persons and communities.

In the past three years, he said, he has had to replace two television antennas and two ground plantings because his yard is an attractive nesting site for the colorful birds.

He also had his car repainted after peafowl pecked at the trunk lock.

"They're making life miserable for people. I love the peacocks but not in this quantity," he said.

Shnable's recommendation was echoed by a neighbor who also spoke to the council. But two other neighbors told the council they wanted the birds left alone.

"Now you see what we're faced with," Belsky told Shnable.

Residents of nearby Palos Verdes Estates also have been divided about wild peafowl. A citizens committee recently recommended that they be preserved as "wildlife of the city," but also urged that the city issue a guide to residents on how to handle problems caused by the birds.

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