Mating peacocks mayhem ruins village peace as birds attack cars and foul streets
Up to 30 mating peacocks and hens have ruined the peace of a former pit village with all-night noise and by attacking cars, residents have claimed.
People living in Ushaw Moor, outside Durham, claim the birds are roaming loose and "causing mayhem" by fouling the streets and scratching vehicles with their claws and beaks when they see their reflection in the paintwork.
Now fed-up residents have started a petition to demand action is taken about the peacocks and peahens which they say have been causing problems for six years.
Graham Bridge started the petition on the change.org site and it has been backed with more than 100 signatures.
Self-employed in financial services, Mr Bridge works from home and can hear the birds screeching through the day.
And at night, they sit on roofs and call out to each other, disturbing the 4,000 villagers.
"Sleep to me is the number one nuisance, to a degree you can live with the other things," he said.
The peacocks also scratch and peck cars, convinced their reflection in the paintwork is a rival bird.
Mr Bridge said a local resident 's car was attacked so violently the peacock left blood on the vehicle.
"I think the peacock saw it as a threat so it attacked the car, so much so that you could see blood, presumably from its beak.
A further nuisance for Ushaw Moor residents is the muck the roaming birds leave, which can easily be trodden into a carpet.
"It is evil stuff," Mr Bridge said.
"When it's soft it is flipping awkward to get out of anything. The best method is to let it dry but you wouldn't want to do that."
There is some dispute over the exact number of birds and where they have come from.
Mr Bridge estimates there are 30 of them, and said a neighbour once found 13 of them sitting on his decking.
While some people see the birds as a beautiful feature of local life, Mr Bridge and his 100 supporters have called on Durham County Council's environmental health department to act.
He wrote: "These birds should be in a safe environment where they can be admired and properly looked after and not seen as pests.
"Please add your signature and support us and help us get our sleep back."
Joanne Waller, head of environment, health and consumer protection at Durham County Council, said: "We have received complaints about noise from peacocks in Ushaw Moor and we are currently investigating to determine whether they create a statutory noise nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990."