For several years a peacock named Big Bird has made his home in a South Tampa neighborhood.
The blue and green bird with a feathered tail set up camp in the backyard of an old Virginia Park house.
Neighbors told the Tampa Bay Times a man who lived in the home used to feed the peacock. That man moved, and the house was bulldozed. A million-dollar home is slated to take its place, the Times reports.
The bird is still there.
Lori Maloney lives down the street. She feeds Big Bird every morning. Maloney and other residents told the Times they are worried about the bird’s fate.
Big Bird’s history in the area may trace back to 2012, neighbors told the Times.
During that summer two peacocks and a peahen made their way to Virginia Park. While peafowl are spotted in Wellswood, Westchase, Carrollwood and Brandon, neighbors said they’d never seen any as far south as Virginia Park. Residents say the other peacock may have died when a trapper tried catching it, according to the Times.
“Peafowl roam throughout Tampa Bay, often causing a division among neighbors who view them with either affection or disdain. Sure, the male's feathers are pretty, but the birds poop a lot. They scratch cars and wander into traffic. And then there's the mating call that some liken to the blood-curdling scream of a woman in distress,” the Times reports.
This isn’t exactly the case with Bird Bird because he’s alone. Big Bird doesn’t have any female friends so his mating calls remain unanswered. He cries out several times in the morning but then keeps to himself, neighbors told the Times.
Now neighbors are debating what to do. Some neighbors want to leave Big Bird alone, while another complained about 4 a.m. wakeup calls.
Marc Mobley’s company is building that 4,000-square-foot home. He doesn’t think Big Bird should be left alone. Mobley said he’d rather find the bird a home with other peafowl.
"If we're making a whole bunch of noise every day, the bird's going to find a new location in a neighbor's yard, and that neighbor might not want that bird," Mobley told the Times.
Maloney and her husband told the Times they are fine with that plan.
"As long as they hire the right guy, and it doesn't end up in a hat factory," John Maloney said.
The trouble with that is no one has had luck finding a place to take Big Bird.