Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Boise escape artists: Indian Peafowl and Black Swan

On May 6 we saw this headline on KTVB.com:

INPE news 1

After a couple of weeks we started to hear it squawk from a few yards over. It stayed in one of our neighbors yards for about two weeks, and then started to roam again. On June 9, we found it hanging out in our backyard, cleaning up underneath the bird feeders. We snapped a few pictures of it hanging out on our roof.


Indian Peafowl on our roof in Columbia Village, Ada County. June 9, 2013.


Indian Peafowl on our roof in Columbia Village, Ada County. June 9, 2013.

This is not the first time we’ve seen peacocks wandering the streets of Boise, so I’m not sure why this one made a headline. A couple of years ago there was one we used to see in the foothills above the Warm Springs Golf Course quite regularly. I’m surprised that nobody came looking for it, especially after it was in the paper. We just barely stopped hearing it around a couple of weeks ago, so it was in our neighborhood for at least 7 weeks.

On June 15, we floated the Boise River just after opening day for the season. As we were coming around one bend where the river is nearest to Warm Springs Ave, we saw a Black Swan hanging out in the shade.


Black Swan on the Boise River, Ada County. June 15, 2013.

I posted about it on the Facebook Idaho Birding page, and Bruce Ackerman responded that it likely belonged to somebody downstream. We had actually seen another one of these in Idaho, back in late 2008 or early 2009 (don’t remember the date exactly). It had crash landed onto the sidewalk at Boise State near the apartment we were living in at the time, and had gathered quite a crowd of curious passersby.


  1. My husband and son saw this (or another?) black swan on the river this weekend. Is somebody looking for it, or is it wild?

  2. It was probably the same swan. Black Swans are native to Australia, and are found in the U.S. only as ornamental waterfowl. They're much more popular to keep as ornamental waterfowl in Europe than they are here, so I would be surprised if there were more than a couple of these birds in the whole Treasure Valley. As far as I know there are no feral populations in the U.S., though there are a couple of small feral populations in Europe.

  3. I'm from Australia and I had to do a double take when I saw the Black Swan today on the Boise River! It seems quite at home and has obviously been around the area since June. My question is - if this is an escapee, what's going to happen to it when the weather turns cold? :(

  4. We just saw one today on the Boise River below te Warm Springs Mesa from the green belt (about mile 3.5).