Dealing with Peafowl


Peafowl has a long, storied history in Rancho Palos Verdes and on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. While many residents enjoy the presence of peafowl, others, particularly those who live in close proximity to peafowl flocks, are disturbed by the peafowl's noisy calls, excessive fecal matter and damage to personal property, particularly to landscaping and flower gardens.

Staff attempts to educate residents that feeding peafowl and other wildlife is a violation of the city's Municipal Code. In an attempt to assist residents, staff also provides information on helpful suggestions to discourage peafowl from visiting a private property. These suggestions range from the types of plants to avoid for landscaping and known peafowl-deterrents such as lawn sprinklers and the presence of dogs. Many residents have reported mixed results when utilizing these methods.

Illegal to Feed Peafowl in Rancho Palos Verdes

The city enacted an ordinance (PDF) on May 19, 2009, amending the Municipal Code to prohibit the feeding of peafowl (MC 10.84.010) and the interference with efforts to trap and relocate peafowl (6.04.070). Prohibiting the feeding of peafowl is intended to help control the overall peafowl population.

Helpful Tips to Discourage Peafowl from Returning to Your Property

  • Avoid planting young tender seedlings in areas you do not want peafowl to visit or cover the plants until they’re well established.
  • Peafowl will avoid certain repellents.
    Cat repellent and mothballs around planting beds, porches, and along walkways may be an effective means of repelling peafowl. Caution should be used so as not to allow young children or animals to ingest the repellents.
  • Peafowl are afraid of dogs.
    Walk your dog around the property and neighborhood.
  • Peafowl does not like water.
    Water is one of the best-known deterrents for peafowl. The intermittent use of sprinklers or a hose with a jet nozzle will act as a negative reinforcement for the birds. Also, consider a motion sensor activated water spray, such as the Scarecrow, which is battery operated and covers an area of about 35 feet and can be connected to your garden hose. It’s available online or at garden stores, such as OSH.
  • Peafowl likes to eat seeds, bugs, and worms.
    Avoid open compost and manure sacks. If you wish to compost, use a covered compost bin and keep the composting area clean.
  • Peafowl likes to eat wild birdseed, bread, and pet food.
    These are delectable treats to peafowl. Once they’re hooked, it’s difficult to wean them. It’s a good idea to remove any leftover pet food immediately or feed pets indoors.
  • Peafowl likes to eat young tender seedlings.
  • Peafowl prefers to roost in safe areas, such as overhanging trees.
    Trim or thin overhanging trees to deter peafowl. The Canary Island Pine is a favorite resting spot because of its sturdy horizontal limbs and ample cover.
  • Some tips from other residents:
    • Scare the peafowl. Chase them off your property consistently for a few days.
    • Sprinkle coyote urine (purchased at feed stores) around the perimeter of the property.

Peafowl Will Not Eat Certain Plants

  • Agapanthus
  • Azalea
  • Baby's breath
  • Bee balm
  • Blazing star
  • Butterfly plant
  • Cactus
  • Camellia
  • Cannas
  • Clivia
  • Columbine
  • Coneflower
  • Coreopsis
  • Dusty Miller
  • Ferns
  • Fuchsia
  • Gaillardia
  • Gardenia
  • Geranium
  • Giant columbine
  • Gladiola
  • Gloriosa daisy
  • Hardy lavender
  • Hen and chicken hibiscus
  • Hostas
  • Ivy
  • Jade
  • Lavende
  • Liatris bougainvillea
  • Marigold
  • Mint
  • Mum
  • Oleander
  • Painted daisy
  • Peonies
  • Periwinkle
  • Phlox
  • Pink lady
  • Plumbago
  • Poinsettia
  • Pyracantha
  • Roses
  • Shasta daisy
  • Snap dragon
  • Sunburst coreopsis
  • Weigela

Avoid Plants Peafowl Will Eat

  • Amaryllis
  • Begonia
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • California Poppy
  • Cauliflower
  • Chive
  • Holly berries
  • Impatiens
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansy
  • Petunia
  • Primrose
  • Stock
  • Sweet alyssum
  • Tomatoes
  • Water stalk
  • Young spinach
  • Young, tender plants