If you’ve driven down Sagebrush Drive lately, or ever, you may have noticed that residents share the roadways with some beautifully unique creatures. And by “share,” we mean it’s understood that the Flower Mound peacocks and peahens (or peafowl, to be technical) have the right of way at all times. They seem to be completely unaware of oncoming traffic.
Typical mornings for some residents include loud wake-up calls, taps at their windows, or the unmistakable pitter-patter of talons on the roof. For one neighbor, in particular, these sounds have become second nature.
Bill Garcia has lived in Flower Mound for over 35 years. His 3-acre lot is covered in 60-foot-tall trees and English Ivy, creating an abundant feeding ground and sanctuary to the peafowl since they landed on his doorstep over three decades ago.
“Earl Adams bought his wife Barbara one peacock and two peahens as a birthday present,” Garcia said. “Minutes after being delivered, the peacocks realized they did not like the Adams’ Rottweilers and immediately flew off landing on our property.”
It didn’t take long for those peafowl to make themselves at home. The three became ten, then quickly multiplied. At one point, the Sagebrush area catered to 125 peafowl.
From the beginning, the Garcia family has treated these incredible birds like pets. They have even become fond of a few over the years.
“Elvis was a Black-shouldered Peacock, and he lived over 10 years with us,” Bill said. “He would roost on the roof where we have a double window, and we basically said goodnight to each other every night throughout all of those years.”
Bill places over 60 pounds of wild bird seed on the ground each week, as well as treating the peafowl to some of their favorite foods. This includes white bread because they don’t like wheat, flour tortillas because they don’t like corn, and just like any good grandparent, lots of desserts.
“We learned a long time ago not to treat them like garbage disposals because it attracted other wild animals,” Bill said. “They prefer insects, but they love pancakes, pies, cakes, and brownies, too.”
Bill added, “Some of the older long-tailed peacocks have me trained. They will squawk until I come out to feed them.”
Over the past few years, Bill said the peafowl population has dwindled. Some residents shot the peacocks, and some antagonized them with pellet guns or paint guns — even bows and arrows. Many viewed them as pests, not pets.
Bill said about 25 peacocks were able to escape. In the end, the Town passed the Peacock Ordinance that outlaws hunting, harming, or capturing any peafowl.
Mating season starts in February and ends, for the most part, in May. Come June, babies are hatched and find their way to the Garcia’s house. Many videos uploaded to the Flower Mound Cares Facebook group shows little ones waddling after their mothers through Bill’s English Ivy.
“You see them growing up from babies. They become like family,” Bill said. “They follow me around.”
Peacocks can be aggressive during mating season or when someone is dangling a French fry in their face, but for the most part, these wild birds are expressive, cheerful, impulsive, and visual characters.
“I have seen the peacock dance a hundred times,” Bill said. “It seems like the peahens have no interest.”
This may be one of the reasons why numbers aren’t rising, or it could be the coyotes. Let’s stick with the latter because if you’re lucky enough to see them dance, you know these majestic birds really do know how to shake their tail feathers.
The Garcias are passionate about the peafowl and treat them like they belong to Flower Mound by helping to care for and preserve these extravagant birds for future generations.
When driving through the Sagebrush area, remember that these peacocks made Flower Mound their home long before some of the residents. They add beauty and texture to the wildlife, and for many, they are absolutely adored.
For questions or concerns, contact Flower Mound Animal Services 972.874.6390.
photos courtesy of Bill and Mary Lou Garcia