Explore San Diego: Secret peacock land

SAN DIEGO -- It’s a beautiful day in this East County neighborhood, peaceful and quiet, until you hear the distinct squawking of peacocks. Everywhere. On cars, in yards, strutting across the street.

Legend has it that in 1980, a neighbor brought home two peacocks from the Wild Animal Park and they’ve never left. Around two dozen peacocks now thrive here, roosting in trees, shaking their tail feathers.

“Sometimes people are afraid of them and they start putting out their feathers and shaking, that’s just a flirt. They’re just flirting with everybody,” says Janette Steiger.

Steiger says the peacocks are vain and they often come up to her deck and preen in front of the reflective windows. Which begs the question, are they vain?

“Very much so, oh my goodness, they are very prideful,” Steiger said.

Steiger has lived in this neighborhood for 40 years and enjoys the peacocks company. However, the feeling is not mutual for the Culvers, who have lived in the neighborhood for 60 years.

“If you want a garden and have vegetables they eat everything there is,” Malcolm Culver said.

He says peacocks are destructive, hold up traffic and they’re especially loud during mating season in the spring. Although, like people, peacocks prefer privacy when it’s go time.

“I see them down in the yard spreading their tails around the females so I was watching them, watching them and they would never do anything while I watched them,” Jeanne Culver said.

Over the years, crowds of lookie-loos have flocked here, ruffling a whole lot of feathers. The annoyed residents have dubbed the unwanted human tourists "pea-gawkers."

Because of that, we agreed to keep the location a secret to protect the neighborhood’s privacy.

So if you happen to stumble upon this place on your own, remember don’t trespass or honk (that won’t make the peacocks move any faster) or you’ll have to answer to a bunch of angry birds and people.

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