Peacocks are not native to Texas, but there are a large number of wild peafowl (males are called peacocks and females are called peahens) roaming across the state of Texas.
Peacocks are seen as being rare, exotic birds, and they are - but they’re also very adept at surviving in the wild.
Peafowl can thrive in residential areas, just as they can live and populate in desert terrains or dense foliage.
What Terrains Do Peacocks Like to Live In?
Depending on the species, peafowl are native to rainforests, deserts, and areas with dense foliage.
They like a combination of trees and foliage as it gives them plenty of options for hiding, sleeping up high on branches, and making nests.
These areas are also usually dense with bugs and insects, berries, and the other things that peacocks eat.
This makes some areas in Texas perfect for peafowl to live. There are desert areas, such as the vast Chihuahuan Desert, as well as a number of national forests and large parks.
That said, there are also plenty of residential and built-up areas where peacocks have taken up residency. Much to the amusement, and sometimes annoyance of the local residents.
The bottom line is that unless efforts are put forth to rid an area of wild peacocks or there are a large number of natural predators, they’re likely to survive.
Related - Do peacocks eat bread?
Why Are There So Many Peacocks in Texas?
The exact origins of how peacocks first became free-roaming around Texas are not always known as they date back almost a hundred years.
There are various stories relating to different states; such as how a wealthy family with many acres of land first introduced peacocks to Houston, only for some to escape.
Or, that peafowl escaped from farms in Fort Worth only to be fed by residents so numbers kept climbing.
But what we do know is that there are loads of peacocks roaming across most - if not - all the major cities in Texas.
It’s almost always likely due to the fact that some people kept peafowl as exotic pets, or even on the grounds of businesses as attractions.
Then, for whatever reason, all it takes is for a few peafowls to escape, and as time passes they grow in numbers.
With Texas having so much space and land where peafowl would be left alone to establish a base, it’s really no surprise that they populated larger numbers.
There are two things that would stop wild peafowl from growing in numbers; people and predators.
Animal control hasn’t put a stop to the wild peacocks in Texas, and there clearly aren’t enough natural predators to do it either.
For many residents that live in areas where peacocks and peafowl roam, they’re seen as being a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
There is no denying that seeing a peacock spread its feathers out is a magnificent sight. You can consider yourself pretty fortunate if you see it in person!
Related - A look at peafowl protection laws in Florida and California.
Are Peacocks Protected in Texas?
It’s hard to speak about Texas as a whole, as local laws can vary and are subject to change.
However, if we take San Antonio as an example right now as there are a lot of wild peacocks there, they’re protected.
Peacocks are not protected by Federal Laws, they’re actually protected under cruelty laws.
In San Antonio, it’s unlawful to:
- Hunt, trap, capture, or kill peafowl (with some exceptions if they’re on your own private property)
- Sell wild peafowl in public places
- Perform any acts of cruelty towards peafowl
- Keep or raise peafowl without humane care
Do Wild Peacocks Cause Damage to Property?
The only real downside is that peacocks are capable of causing damage to property.
They have sharp claws and strong beaks and will think nothing of digging up plants and scratching around in yards for something to eat.
Also, reports of peafowl damaging cars are not uncommon. It’s believed that when a peacock sees their own reflection in the bodywork of a vehicle, they’ll often attack it!
The risk of harming humans is low, especially if you give them space and don’t try to get too close.
Like most animals, however, peacocks can become defensive and territorial during mating season.
Seeing a peacock spread and shake its feathers might be a stunning sight - but it can also be a sign of aggression!
If you have any concerns or know that wild peacocks have damaged your property, you should speak with your local office and animal control before taking action yourself.
There are a lot of wild peacocks in Texas. We can’t be sure exactly how or where the first wild peafowl came from, but they’ve been able to thrive in Texas over decades.
Peafowl are seen more as a welcome addition to most neighborhoods than they are a nuisance.
They are capable of causing damage to cars and property, so they’re not always welcome. But wild peacocks are protected by cruelty laws and not going down in numbers!
Image credits - Photo by adrian krajcar on Unsplash
Does Houston Have Wild Peacocks?
There have been numerous ‘prides’ of peacocks spotted in Houston over the years. They get mixed reactions from residents, but overall they’ve been left alone to increase in numbers.
Does Austin Have Wild Peacocks?
According to the Texas Standard, peacocks have been roaming around Mayfield Park in Austin and the surrounding grounds for almost 100 years! They’re also spotted in residential areas.
Does San Antonio Have Wild Peacocks?
There are a lot of wild peacocks roaming around San Antonio. Peafowl were introduced to San Antonio many decades ago and have always roamed freely in some areas.