Meet 'Mr Peacock': Exotic birds on the loose sees US boffin weigh in
- Credit: Getty/Mr Peacock
The news that a gaggle of exotic birds are running riot in a city suburb has caught the attention of a man who has dedicated his life to peafowl.
Iowa-based Dennis Fett - AKA Mr Peacock - has spent decades uncovering the mystic wiles of peacocks and peahens.
The birdie boffin runs The Peacock Information Centre across the Atlantic.
Along with his wife of 42 years, Debbie Buck, the 72-year-old has a muster of up to 80 peafowl.
The pair have kept the exotic birds for more than four decades.
And against all odds, from across the pond Mr Peacock picked up the bizarre story of Eaton's rogue peafowl.
The feathered friends consist of at least one peacock and one peahen - which have been spotted roaming wild through the suburb in the last few weeks.
The exotic bird expert confirmed that the peahen is an India blue and the peacock a black shoulder that is at least three years old.
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"Both of them look in very good condition but it looks like someone has grabbed some scissors and cut the peacock's tale feathers off," he explained.
"That might have happened because someone was transporting the bird and put it into a crate and it wouldn't fit.
"But from looking at the video, the birds are very comfortable. Ones that roam wildly are generally tame."
And it appears he's also hit upon where they call home: "They look calm and happy and are definitely someone's pet.
"I'm surprised that someone hasn't come forward to say that they are lost."
Chris Stebbing, chairman of Eaton Village Residents Association, confirmed that since the sightings no one has come forward.
Avian aficionado Dennis added: "They eat grass and bugs - they have a wonderful appetite.
"They'll find compost and scratch at it on the hunt for bugs.
"Peafowl often create a pattern and we're seeing that here. They'll go to the same places to find food and water.
"These birds are bringing a lot of joy to people. It truly never gets old looking at them.
"But as much as I love peafowl, they really need to be outside of an urban setting.
"I like that the neighbourhood enjoys them but I don't want to see them get hurt."
When did Eaton's peafowl sightings start?
With Mr Peacock certain that these birds have been kept to roam on private land, he said that the fowl have to be held in captivity for a year before having free rein so they know where home is and where to come back to.
There have been sightings of two peafowl in the Eaton area which began at the end of May.
Eaton teacher Sophie Wilson's seven-year-old daughter Clara even named the captivating creatures after they made an appearance in her back garden.
They have been called Captain Jack and Princess Penny - the peacock because of his scraggy feathers and the peahen because the Queen's head appears on penny coins in a nod to the Platinum Jubilee.
As well as in her Branksome Road garden, the peafowl at large have been spotted - and heard squawking in the small hours - in Fulford Close, Greenways, Brentwood, Lindford Drive, Abinger Way and Norton Drive.