Monday, February 8, 2010

Peacocks in Coconut Grove

One of the things I love most about my new neighborhood are the giant, brilliantly colored peacocks and peahens that roam the rooftops, narrow streets, and lush yards of this tropical Miami haven. They are wonderful, exotic birds and in the right sunlight their plumage shimmers unbelievable shades of cobalt blue and bright green.

The colony of froufrou fowl grew from a few pets brought to Coconut Grove years ago, and are both beloved and berated by the residents. Many people who live here have come to see the peacocks as a symbol of the Grove's nonconformist neighborhood spirit. Others are unhappy about the peacocks' screeching, pooping and loitering ways. I sympathize with the residents whose houses attract dozens of birds. The peacocks' behavior can seem incongruously inelegant compared to their spectacular beautiful appearance. They are as loud and gawky as turkeys sometimes! As a result, some of the male birds (the peacocks) were quietly taken to a farm in Redland last year, pitting neighbor against neighbor, according to some news reports.

The good news is that the peacocks seem to have a special place in the hearts of Coconut Grove denizens. I hear that in March, the town is expecting to receive a number of 5-foot-tall fiberglass peacocks which will grace the bustling, restaurant-lined streets of the Grove's center. Hopefully Coconut Grove's peacocks will enjoy some newfound respect.

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