It comes as a surprise to many, but there are plenty of wild peacocks in Ontario, Canada.
Ontario is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada and is the most populous province with ~13 million residents.
There have been wild peacocks and peahens spotted everywhere from some of the most densely populated residential areas of Ontario to the forest regions.
Where Are Wild Peacocks Located in Ontario?
It’s easier to say that wild peacocks are all over Ontario than it is to list all the cities where they’ve been spotted.
The surprising thing is that they’ve been spotted in even the largest, most metro cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, London, and so on.
Most people just assume that wild peacocks hideout in the forest areas. This isn’t the case, they often seem to be just as happy in residential areas.
As long as peafowl can find trees to roost in, some quiet spots to make nests if the peahens are broody, and a source of food - they’re going to take up residency.
They aren’t always easy to find, but if you ask around or dig around on social media, I’m sure you’ll find people saying where they’ve spotted peacocks in Ontario.
Related - More on why there are wild peacocks in Georgia and Washington.
How Did Peacocks Become Wild in Ontario?
First of all, just to clear up a common misconception; peacocks are male peafowl, and female peafowl are called peahens.
People tend to refer to all peafowl as peacocks as it’s the peacocks that have the magnificent, colorful tail display that we all recognize.
With that in mind, there are several species of peafowl and none are native to Ontario.
There are wild peafowl living all across Canada, the US, and loads of other countries around the world where they are not native.
Peafowl are native to India, Africa, and parts of Asia. Their natural habitat is desert areas, forests, and areas dense with foliage.
How wild peacocks became wild in various places is rarely known, but it’s usually always assumed that they escaped from an enclosure where they were being kept privately.
Peafowl are very adept at surviving in the wild. All it takes is for a few peafowl to escape, and in pretty much any terrain they’ll be able to increase in numbers.
Peafowl are omnivores, so they’re able to eat bugs, plants, and various scraps of food they find. Making it pretty easy for them to find something edible just about anywhere.
Are Peacocks Protected In Ontario?
This is an interesting question because I’ve researched the answer and there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer as to how peacocks are protected, if they are, in Ontario.
In this news article published by The Guardian in the UK, a neighborly dispute over peacocks ended with one resident cutting down a tree they were living in.
This happened in a suburban neighborhood called Sullivan Heights, just outside of Vancouver. The city’s public safety manager himself said it’s, “a legal gray area.”
It appears that peafowl are not protected by any specific animal control rules, regulations or bylaws.
But there are animal protection laws and Bird Protection Laws in Ontario that are in place to prevent, or punish people that cause harm to birds.
The best advice is that if you’re being bothered by peafowl where you live, you should contact your local office and ask them what your options are, or what the best solution is.
Are Wild Peacocks a Nuisance?
Peacocks are not native to residential areas, and they’re certainly capable of causing damage and annoying residents.
Some people don’t mind having peafowl around, but for some people, it’s a complete nightmare.
The main issues that peacocks bring with them are:
Noise pollution - Peacocks make loud honking noises, especially during mating season. It’s the kind of sound you expect to hear in the jungle, not around the neighborhood.
Property damage - Peacocks are large birds and are capable of causing some serious damage to your personal property.
They scratch around most of the day looking for little bugs and insects to eat and tend to ruin flower beds and dig holes in lawns.
Peafowl are also known for damaging vehicles. They tend to lash out when they see their own reflections, which happens in the bodywork of vehicles.
General mess - No one wants to see large amounts of bird poop where they live, especially if you have pets or kids.
Peafowl roost and spend time up in trees. If they inhabit a tree near you, you can expect to see piles of poop around the tree.
I’ve read numerous articles on local news sites about how the residents are divided in areas where peafowl are living.
My best advice is that if you’re finding wild peafowl to be a nuisance where you live, you should go through the correct channels and contact your local office for advice first.
There are wild peacocks in Ontario and all across Canada. They’re not as commonly seen as the Canada goose, but peacocks are not as aggressive as the Canada goose either.
If you want to find wild peafowl, it shouldn’t be too difficult if you start asking around for sightings.
If you have some wild peafowl roaming around where you live, I hope you’re able to live harmoniously. If not, I hope you find a good solution!
Image credits - Photo by Darshan Patel on Unsplash