The Honolulu Advertiser is reporting that a woman beat a Peacock to death because of his noise. The woman appears to have been upset by lack of sleep due to constant noise from a flock of feral Peacocks that inhabit the Makaha Valley. They were introduced around 1860 and found favour with Hawaiian royalty.
Peacocks are beautiful birds but they can be pretty irritating to people. During the day they can rest on the hood or roof of cars, leaving scratches and large faecal deposits. They roost in the top of the tallest trees available to avoid predators at night and the call of the Peacock has been likened to the air-horn blast of a large truck.
Previous attempts to thin out the Makaha Valley population by culling have failed because of public outcry. In Canberra, we have a small feral population in the suburb of Narrabundah and I think they'd be a similar reaction to anyone wanting to cull them. I've seen them on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, but I'm not aware of any biodiversity impact of the birds. I think the main problem is with amenity due to noise and droppings but most people seem to be happy enough to have them around. Certainly taking to them with a baseball bat is extreme, and the Honolulu Advertiser is reporting that the lady responsible has entered no plea.
Indiscriminate killing of birds happens from time-to-time. A Sunshine Coast, Queensland, newspaper recently reported the death of pigeons, apparently poisoned and found on a local beach. In discussing this incident, a colleague related that he had pigeons dying in his backyard over a period of a couple of years and he suspected his keen gardener neighbour of poisoning them. Because my colleague worked for a department of agriculture he organised testing of the pigeons, finding them full of DDT and other chemicals. Apparently the neighbour died the next year of liver cancer.
Is there a message? Taking things into your own hands is unlikely to solve the problem and might make things worse? Leave Peacocks to make their noise?