Amorous peacocks land hotel owner in court


FOUR amorous peacocks have been evicted from their Scottish home after their mating calls drove local residents crazy.

The peacocks, from Bonnyrigg, near Edinburgh, were slapped with the bird equivalent of an anti-social behaviour order, after their early morning screeching led to a court case against them.

A petition was signed by 26 neighbours, who sought to gain an enforcement order to silence the love-struck birds.

Peacocks have now been evicted.


Percey, Max, Jam and Nacho were part of a long line of peacocks who have roamed the grounds of Midlothian’s The Retreat Castle Hotel for more than 100 years.

The birds were such a famous attraction that local streets were even named after them.

But the accused peacocks found themselves up before the Edinburgh Justice of the Peace Court this week.

In the end hotel owners Peter Hood, 46, and wife Judith, agreed to move the peacocks on.

Problems for the birds first arose when the peahen flew away last year, leaving the peacocks mating calls to become increasingly desperate.

Mrs Hood, mother-of-two said: “They are beautiful creatures and they were a great draw for the hotel. One minute guests would be eating their breakfast and the next thing they would have this gorgeous display of feathers. The kids absolutely loved them.

“But once you get into the mating season, around March to July, they do get very loud. They start once the sun is up, at around 6am or 7am.

“It was always our intention that we would have to remove them for everyone’s sanity.”

The couple started receiving complaints about the noise after residents moved in to new housing at the end of last year on grounds which was previously part of hotel property.

The Hood’s said they sympathised with the residents and promised to move them on, however it took months to catch the birds with court action lodged in the meantime.

Mrs Hood added: “It was very hard catching them because  once you make an attempt to catch them, they’re very clever and won’t go near you,” she said.

Several local streets have been named in the peacocks honour, including Peacock Place and Peacock Parkway.

The birds have now been moved on to the Duke of Argyll’s estate, more than 100 miles away, while two have been taken in at a local farm in Auchendinny.