The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) are looking for an adopter to give a good home to an adult male domesticated peacock, adorably named "Wingo Starr."
"We received a call a few weeks ago from a staff member at KIPP Esperanza High School in East Palo Alto who spotted a loose peacock running around the school's parking lot," said PHS/SPCA's Communications Manager Buffy Martin-Tarbox.
"Our rescue staff arrived and saw the bird darting around the lot," said Martin-Tarbox. "Peafowl are very smart birds and can be difficult to catch, but after about 20 minutes our staff was able to safely net the bird and bring him back to our shelter in San Mateo."
Once the bird arrived at the shelter, he was examined by PHS/SPCA veterinarian staff, and they noticed a detail that led them to believe that someone in the past owned the peacock.
"Since his wings were clipped, we were fairly certain he was someone's pet, but no one came forward to claim him," said Martin-Tarbox. "So, after the peacock put on some weight and was cleared medically, he was made available for adoption. And we christened him with the name Wingo Starr. His adoption fee is $20."
Peacocks have long been kept as pet birds, but according to PHS/SPCA, they require special needs that differentiate them from the cats and dogs of the world.
PHS/SPCA says that peacocks need at least 80 square feet of space per bird, ideally with a specialized habitat to provide them shelter and protection from predators.
Regarding dietary needs, PHS/SPCA recommends feeding peacocks mixed grains, nuts, green vegetables and fruit. Because they are omnivores, peacocks will also ingest lizards, frogs, slugs and insects (which may or may not include beetles), making them an ideal source of organic pest control.
"We are specifically seeking adopters with previous peafowl experience and will be able to provide Wingo Starr with the amount of space he requires, and are committed to providing him the appropriate food, access to clean water and shelter," said Martin-Tarbox.
Prospective adopters can learn more about Wingo Starr by calling PHS/SPCA at 650-340-7022.