Longboat Key's flashiest (feathered) residents get the boot

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Peacocks and peahens have been permanent residents of Longboat Key's Longbeach Village for decades.  Now it appears, they have overstayed their welcome.

"It was a novelty back then because I didn't live there," said Peggy Watkins.  "I had no idea what it would be living among some peacocks."

Peggy and Ken Watkins have been dealing with the beautiful but destructive birds for nearly 20 years.

"My car has been damaged a couple of times because they have pecked it or clawed it," she said.

That is just the beginning.

"They are messy at times, they are noisy at times," complained Ken.

Ken Watkins said yes, there are bigger problems in the world than peacocks, but said they are an issue.
He said they draw in tourists by the droves and turn their quiet neighborhood into a Florida attraction.

"It does affect our peace and serenity and one of the reasons why we moved here," he continued.

The city has had so many complaints, it decided hiring a trapper would be the best bet.  They believe the city has about 80 to 100 peacocks and peahens.

"Peacocks are pretty resilient critters and they've been around for many, many generations in the village. I'm not sure the village will ever be without them," said town manager Dave Bullock.

The trapper will begin rounding up the flock sometime next week.  It will cost $10,000 to $20,000 but it's money well spent if you ask people in Longbeach Village.

"With fewer, I think we would enjoy more of the benefits and fewer of the downsides," Peggy Watkins added.

The trapper said the peacocks will be taken to animal sanctuaries or bird rescues once they are caught.