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illabelle

Found a peahen, found a peahen!

Rating: 67 votes, 5.00 average.
In Sept of 2009 I did a dayhike from Newfound Gap to Charlie's Bunyan (8 miles round trip). As I passed Icewater Spring Shelter 3-miles in, I saw a large bird walking around in the clearing. I didn't try to get close, and I was in a hurry to finish my hike before it got dark, so I went on. On the way back, I stopped for a few minutes, got much closer and identified it as a peahen. Nope, not a wild turkey or a grouse, but a peahen, a domesticated animal who had no business in the middle of the Smokies. I returned with my daughter the next day and some gear and we attempted to lure her into a net. We weren't successful. Returned the following weekend with different gear, set up a 3-sided mesh fence with a net roof, and very patiently (in a light rain) fed her some grain I had brought. She was pretty hungry, and had apparently been surviving off of hiker handouts. It took quite a while, but I finally lured her inside the fence and under the net. I quickly threw something across the entrance to herd her further inside, then a couple guys from the shelter came over and helped me get her secured in a mesh sack I had brought to carry her in. Somebody held her while we packed up our gear, then the two of us carried her in the dark 3 miles back to the car. (If I include the initial trip, I walked 20 miles for that bird!)
Brought her home and put her in with my chickens for three weeks. Named her Indira, or Indy for short. When I was sure she understood where home was, I started letting her out to free-range with the chickens for a while each day. Didn't take long before she disappeared. Asked a few neighbors. Somebody said they saw her hanging out with the wild turkey flock that roams in our area. Somebody else mentioned neighbors with a peacock, so I went to see them. There she was!! She had a boyfriend! That summer they hatched a few chicks, and I still see her now and then.
Just to be clear, except for shelter mice and mosquitoes, I do not harass wild animals, and I would never even think about trapping a wild animal and taking it out of its natural habitat. She would have died without our intervention.
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Comments

  1. Rolls Kanardly's Avatar
    illabelle
    I did not think you were harrassing wild animals. You did what needed to be done with the peahen.
    That dayhike must have made your hike of the year. How good it must have made you feel to save that little girl. And a boy friend to boot and close by. That was destiny. Rolls
  2. gollwoods's Avatar
    cool there are peacocks up here in ohio that get out occasionally