Scott Road Peacock removal -Neighbors cry “fowl!”

Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger

peacocks cropped
Photo courtesy of Pam Bell

For approximately 50 years, peacocks also known as peafowls, have roamed Amelia Island’s south-end.   It is said in the 1960’s,  the late Sandy McArthur,  former state senator and his wife Mable, brought the birds to their expansive residential property located near the canopy drive on   Buccaneer Trail.  The peacocks seemed to add a unique character to the neighbor.  As a warning to motorists, Nassau County even placed peacock crossing signs on Scott Road.

Peacock Trap CropWith the peacock population increasing, some neighborhood residents have taken matters into their own hands.  Traps have captured all but two of approximately 25 peacocks, says Pam Bell one of many concerned neighbors.  It is the way that the removal was handled that is upsetting to Bell who does not believe “a few [neighbors] should make decisions for many.”

According to Bell, Nassau County officials said the county had nothing to do with the capture and made it clear they want nothing to do with the controversy.  A petition drive is underway to bring the peacocks back to Amelia.

Various individual and group Facebook sites are active as individuals communicate various opinions on the issue.  One Facebook group formed in the last few days,  “Amelia Island Peacocks”, claims 916 members.  Its Facebook page notes “Keep Amelia Cocky, Save the South Island Peacocks” t-shirts, yard signs, and coffee cups are for sale with profits going to help the South Island Peacocks.

Peacocks 3The peacock population growth over the last two years seems to be the major problem according to an  Action News Jacksonville report. Other complaints range from damage to cars, droppings, and noise.



January 6, 2014 1:10 p.m.







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4 Responses to Scott Road Peacock removal -Neighbors cry “fowl!”

  1. Patrick Leary says:

    A tragic sign of the times and revelation of contemporary values. There has been no similar concern for other wild bird species extirpated by growth and development on Amelia Island. “Keep Amelia Quaily” Restore the extirpated Bobwhite quail once found on Amelia. “Keep Amelia Oystercatchy” Restore the extirpated Am. Oystercatcher that once nested on the island. “Keep Amelia Black Skimmery” Restore the extirpated Skimmers that once nested on Amelia. Of course all would compete for space desired by Amelia’s new residents and their pets and thus would not be so charming or worthy of restoration.

  2. Ed Richtsteig says:

    A sign of the times, a discontented minority issuing an edict or taking an action that would fail under the weight of a popular vote.

  3. david howard says:

    I think that all involved will find that a county ordinace was passed protecting the peacocks, and that the removal is probably illegal under Nassau Co. law.

  4. Peg Davis says:

    I remember visiting the McArthurs home as a child — in the early 60’s — and being amazed by their beautiful peacocks.

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