A loose peahen – the female counterpart to a peacock – wandered into the downtown Modesto transit center Thursday morning and into an enclosed outdoor waiting area once used as a boarding platform for train passengers.
The brightly colored bird was discovered by a transit worker about 10:15 a.m. Workers set out a bowl of water and some fruit cocktail for the bird while waiting for an animal control officer to respond.
The peahen paced slowly, keeping a watchful eye on the people around her and occasionally pecked at a grape.
“We actually get quite a few calls on peacocks throughout the city but we generally don’t respond to those; just like a loose chicken or a loose duck,” said Animal Control Officer John Bear. “Our real job is to enforce the law, it’s against the law for a dog to be running loose; it’s not against the law for a peacock to be running loose.”
But Bear took the call at the transit center because it’s a highly populated area and he wanted the bird to make it out safely.
He and Modesto police Officer January Siphan cornered the bird and after a brief struggle Bear scooped her up in his arms. The peahen lost a few feathers in the process but didn’t put up much of a fight.
She was taken to the Stanislaus County Department of Animal Services Center and held there until the end of the day. An out-of-county bird rescue retrieved the peahen Thursday evening.