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BEYOND LOCAL: Peacock sightings have Glen Williams locals flocking to social media

We found out where Blue hails from, and why residents keep seeing him around the hamlet
Blue displayed his feathers for Natasha Van Ryn.

Halton Hills has a reputation for being a bird-friendly community. So friendly, in fact, that sightings of an itinerant peacock in Glen Williams suggest avian tourism may be a burgeoning market. 

On the morning of May 6, Natasha Van Ryn was about to leave home to drop her daughter off at daycare when her husband directed her attention to their backyard.

“So I got out of the car and went around the back and saw that there was a peacock sitting in my backyard,” she said.

She took to a Georgetown Facebook group, where she posted photos of the encounter and asked if anyone was missing a peacock, much to the surprise and delight of others. But Van Ryn wasn’t the only one in the Glen having an impromptu safari. One resident spotted Blue, as the bird is named, near River and John streets and another person saw him on Tenth Line just this past week. 

The Glen Williams location of Sheridan Nurseries also had a meeting with the bird around the same time, which ended up greatly energizing the workforce in the rush before Mother’s Day. 

“To have this beautiful, majestic creature come in to our office area, we were very, very happy,” said Sheridan Nurseries employee Kathleen Vissani. “For a lot of people, it just calmed their nerves. Everyone was very relaxed and had smiling faces.”

Peacocks can fly, which allowed Blue to make it onto Natasha Van Ryn's roof. Natasha Van Ryn photo

Glen local Jeff Westwood had a run-in with the peacock on Tenth Line and 22 Sideroad going as far back as February. Much like Van Ryn and the workers at Sheridan Nurseries, Westwood welcomed the pleasant surprise of his new feathered friend. But he was also concerned about him.

“Some people get up to 80, 90 kilometres per hour down this road. It wouldn’t have ended well for the peacock,” Westwood said.

The confessed animal lover who admits to watching “too much David Attenborough” found the whole experience “funny.”

The run-ins with Blue naturally created a small mystery in the hamlet about where he calls home and why he can just roam freely.

Home for him is a farm and food truck construction company near the Georgetown Golf Club. Business partners Gary Johnson and Danny Dhaliwal together own Food Trucks Canada, along with Blue and an escaped emu that gave one Glen resident a moment of pause last year.

There, Blue lives with several of his species, including one peacock named Green and another named Black. The pen on the property contains at least one ostrich and an overprotective male turkey Johnson says is the peacocks’ “bodyguard.” Mammals like pigs, goats and alpacas live with the birds. Johnson says that the avians on the farm are given free reign to explore.

“So how our hobby farm is set up, all the birds come out and go where they want to go, do what they want to do. And then around when the sun starts to set, they make it back to the area,” Johnson told HaltonHillsToday.

He doesn’t like locking up the birds “because they aren’t meant to be that way.”

“That's why I won't keep parakeets,” he said. “Imagine you're a bird in the cage and you're looking at a tree and you're like,’ I would love to go in that tree, but I can't because I'm restricted.’”

He asks residents just to admire Blue if they run into him.