Peafowl (males are peacocks and females are peahens) are classified as a domestic species in Florida. Peafowl have become established in municipalities across the state by escaping from properties or by being released. Unfortunately, they can exhibit nuisance behaviors when their numbers multiply or when they are being fed by people.
To prevent potential impacts to Florida’s native wildlife and habitats, it is not advisable to release domesticated species, such as peafowl, into the wild. Please note that the release of nonnative wildlife is prohibited in Florida. Permission from the FWC is not needed for homeowner’s associations (HOA) or private landowners to take possession or remove peafowl on their properties. Regulations on possession and removal of peafowl fall to the individual counties, cities, or towns. Please call your county animal services provider or your local law enforcement to learn more about your legal options.
If removal of the peafowl is desired and there is no local ordinance or regulation prohibiting their removal, the landowner or HOA can remove the peafowl themselves or hire a third party to do that work for them. If needed, the FWC maintains a list of Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators.
If removal of the peafowl is not feasible or legally allowed by local ordinance, there are several ways to help keep them from becoming an issue on your property or community.
Discourage peafowl from your yard by using these tips:
- Secure all attractants such human related food sources, (pet food, garbage, bird seed, fallen fruit, etc.).
- Haze peafowl by yelling, deploying air horns, banging pots and pans, or shaking aluminum cans filled with stones, or coins. Spraying peafowl with a water hose, without harming them, can also encourage them to leave an area.
- Install motion activated deterrents in your yard —alarms or sprinklers work well.
- Trim limbs where peafowl are roosting.
- Add “bird spikes” to branches or fences where birds may perch to discourage them from roosting.
- Reduce tree cover to expose their roosting sites, making them less attractive to peafowl.
- Reduce thick vegetation where peafowl may seek shelter or make nests.
Prevent damage from peafowl:
- If peafowl are damaging vehicles, a cover is recommended.
- If peacocks are striking at windows, it is the reflective surface that disturbs them, as they see their reflection and may think it is another bird. Cover or rub a bar of soap on the surfaces to reduce the reflection. You can also install a barrier with screen or netting to prevent access to windows.