The timeless struggle between man and nature has spilled into the streets of Union Gap, and nature’s got feathers.
Citing increased aggression from wild peacocks, the city issued a statement Tuesday, warning motorists in the Wide Hollow Creek area near Third Avenue and Ahtanum Road to be wary of the colorful fowl as mating season enters full swing.
Union Gap interim police Chief Greg Cobb said there have recently been a handful of attacks on parked cars as well as incidents of minor collisions from motorists attempting to avoid peacocks in the roadway. Cobb said an official with the state Fish and Wildlife Department told them the attacks may be a result of the peacocks mistaking their reflections in the finish of cars as rivals for the attention of female peahens.
“The peacocks don’t really care for the flow of traffic,” Cobb said.
About a dozen peacocks reside in the area near a local horse ranch, Cobb said. The party of peacocks, commonly referred to as a muster or ostentation when in a group, has grown in size in recent years.
Now the city is hoping to relocate the animals. In the meantime, officials will put up “Peacock Crossing” signs to alert motorists to the potential danger.
The hard part, Cobb said, will be trapping and relocating the birds, which bear sharp talons.
“They’re going to be more difficult to trap than, say, wild turkeys,” he said.
Mating season for peacocks lasts from April to September. Peacocks are not considered a protected species, but Cobb said the city is not considering euthanizing the animals because they have become a mild nuisance.