An unexpected visitor

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A peacock sits on the deck of Bargaintown resident Sandra Santa Maria on July 7. A peacock sits on the deck of Bargaintown resident Sandra Santa Maria on July 7.

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - On Saturday, July 7, Bargaintown resident Sandra Santa Maria went outside to feed the squirrels, as she does each morning.

Instead of seeing the usual chipmunks and blue jays, however, Santa Maria saw a new type of bird on her deck.

“At first I thought it was a turkey,” said Santa Maria, “but then I looked closer and I realized that it definitely was not a turkey.”

The bird in question was, in fact, a peacock.

“Talk about feeding the birds!” said Santa Maria, who quickly discovered that peacocks enjoy eating peanuts.

The rest of the morning was occupied by calls to the Cape May County Zoo.

Santa Maria and her niece, Jaimie Vigue, also conducted internet searches to learn how best to feed and care for the exotic bird.

Officials at the Cape May County Zoo explained that many people keep peacocks as pets.

Santa Maria was told that the peacock may have become disoriented by the recent storm, finding its way to the Bargaintown section of the township.

However, the owners of Reeds Farm Market on Spruce Avenue said the peacock is a regular around the farm.

“It lives here,” one staff worker said. “It went away for a few days, but it’s home now. It’s been here for about two years. Just showed up one day.”

Area residents may see more of them around town, too, as the bird just had babies.


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