Timothy DeWan once walked in on a peacock in the bathroom.
In fairness, it was his bathroom, and the brightly coloured bird was staring at itself in the mirror.
"Well, you know the saying, as proud as a peacock," he said.
For Mr DeWan, uninvited house guests are all part of life in Canberra's south, where a colony of peacocks has co-existed with Narrabundah locals for the past fifteen years.
It all began, Mr DeWan said, with a stray peacock named Andrew (after the politician) who wandered into the neighbourhood one day and became a "celebrity". When he died, the street had a wake in his honour.
"It was very sad, people dressed up in peacock colours, they just love the birds around here," Mr DeWan said.
But ACT authorities are now proposing an annual trapping program to stop the Canberra peacock invasion before it spreads any further, including to the nearby Red Hill reserve.
Director of city presentation at Transport Canberra and City Services Stephen Alegria said the government had been getting complaints about the growing peafowl population since 2003, with most relating to traffic safety concerns, noise (particularly during the breeding season), droppings and damage to property.
Peafowl also competed with native birds for habitat, and were known to disturb local vegetation and spread weeds, he said.
"Whilst this impact may be minimal in areas where the peafowl population are already established, if we don’t take action to manage the feral peafowl population now, they can spread into neighbouring nature reserves where the subsequent impacts will be significant,” Mr Alegria.
Acccording to a draft of the new trapping plan, "if there are no suitable re-homing options available the birds will be...humanely euthanised", with a view to eventually removing them entirely from the area.
"To date, the option of euthanising the trapped birds has not been considered due to
the potential for negative community feedback," the draft said.
"However, this option needs to be considered in the future given the limited opportunities for re-housing."
Two previous trapping events in 2013 and 2015 did not effectively deal with the problem, the plan said, as birds which could not be re-homed were released back into the area.
Residents at a Narrabundah retirement village had also raised concerns "about the potential slip hazard the droppings posed for elderly residents", the draft said.
But a majority of the Narrabundah locals who spoke to Fairfax Media enjoyed having the peafowl in town, some feeding them regularly. Others listed their "screeching", droppings and even "intimidating" behaviour, knocking over pot plants and wandering in uninvited, as reasons they wanted the birds gone.
Staff at Tulip's Cafe and Bliss nursery in Pialligo, where a smaller population of peacocks is also known to roam, said they liked their neighbours - except perhaps their droppings.
The peacocks were thought to have first "gone wild" in Narrabundah when a small animal park on Mugga Lane closed down. The origins of the Pialligo peacock colony is unclear.
While the management plan cites consultation done with the RSPCA and members of the public, a spokeswoman for RSPCA ACT said the animal welfare organisation last saw the plan in 2016 and had not been consulted since.
"We will look at the document to see if we need to make any recommendations," she said.
Sitting in his garden as the peacock families wandered in for their nightly visit, Mr DeVan said he would be writing to the government about the proposed management plan.
"I haven't seen any evidence of the harm they're doing. The peacocks make living here unique.
"At night, you'll often see half a dozen peacocks up on the roof watching the sun set and the little kids all run around, picking up their feathers.
"They're part of the community."
Consultation on the plan is open until June 8.
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