Sat, May

Sherman Oaks Gives Tourists … and LA’s Curious … the Bird


THE GUSS REPORT-- Tourists in LA hoping to see famous faces sometimes take a not-always-truthful celebrity bus tour.   Others troll land-locked Hollywood for movie stars and musicians who more likely live closer to the salty air enclaves of Malibu and points south.   But most are at-peace after taking in Melrose Avenue, “The Price is Right” on Fairfax and head to Venice Beach to soak in cheap t-shirt shops, misfits juggling chainsaws and colorful vendors hawking shea butter that later has them asking “why did I buy this?” 

But this summer’s most colorful local celebrity might be the loud and brash superstar hanging out in Sherman Oaks ... a free-range peacock named Percival has shown up in backyards, on rooftops and waking the locals since early June. 

Percival took a particular liking to the homes in the Magnolia Woods section of Sherman Oaks.   

There, Michelle Pippin, a hair stylist originally from San Diego, says she first saw him in early June, “He was just walking around the neighborhood. He seemed fine with the crowd that had gathered to watch him, and (went) up on a roof. Nobody knows where he came from, or where he went after that, but there was talk of sightings of him just south of Burbank Blvd later that week.” 

Katiedid Langrock, a writer and humorist, says “We were inside and my friend thought she saw a chicken in the backyard so we ignored it because chickens pop up in the backyard not infrequently. But then she decided to (look closer) and there was Percival - not a chicken. 

We followed him around the backyard for about 10 minutes. I went to open the gate to let him out - thinking he had somehow got stuck in the backyard. That's when he flew into our fence. Then onto the neighbor’s roof. Then out of sight. My toddler and I scanned the backyard for feathers. No such luck.” 

Some of their photos can be seen here.   

While nobody in the sleepy neighborhood can recall any such sightings in previous years, the phenomenon of the feral flyers is not unheard of in other parts of Los Angeles County. Here is Los Angeles Magazine’s take on how they came to Southern California in the first place. 

If your visiting friends and family still want a shot at spotting a famous face, there’s always Costco, where spotting an Oscar winner is not impossible.


(Daniel Guss, MBA, is a contributor to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Magazine and others. He blogs on humane issues at http://ericgarcetti.blogspot.com/. Daniel Guss opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.)

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