Mystery of albino peacock found wandering round village for days

An albino peacock caused a flap when it spent days rambling around a village centre next to a busy road.

Friday, 9th June 2017, 5:05 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:12 am
Bertie the peacock in Handcross SUS-170906-155036001
Bertie the peacock in Handcross SUS-170906-155036001

Villagers in Handcross were startled to see the all-white bird wandering onto rooftops, among gardens and the car park of the Royal Oak pub.

And while many were concerned for the mystery bird’s welfare, others were annoyed at the racket it created with its loud cries.

Some villagers took to social media speculating where the peacock - dubbed Bertie by locals - had come from and what should be done about it.

Bertie the peacock after his rescue from Handcross SUS-170906-155047001

Eventually, Derek Lamm, who runs Summers Poultry Rescue Centre at Heathfield, was called in to track down Bertie - who has now been homed at Hop Farm at Paddock Wood, Kent, where he has already become a visitor attraction.

Said Derek: “The lady who alerted me about the peacock had tried to find out if he belonged to somebody locally, but no-one knew. We didn’t want to end up with him being run over.”

And Tess Fenter, who lives in St Martin’s Close in the village, said many people had become concerned about Bertie’s safety. She said he had been spotted all over the village - in her road, in Horsham Road and Covert Mead, as well as the pub car park.

“He’s had a few little travels and kept a fair few of us awake at night. At least now we know he will be looked after.

“Peacocks are obviously not domesticated but they are not completely wild and, in this environment, they’re not going to have any roadsense. People were worried about where he was going to end up.”

And many other villagers posted messages on Facebook at their relief that Bertie had been captured.

One woman said: “Glad he is now safe and away from the busy road. He’s a beautiful bird.

”Another wrote: “Happy for Bertie.”

Albino peacocks are quite rare. However, some white peafowl are not, in fact, albinos but have a condition called leucism which causes a reduction in types of pigment.

To contact Summers Poulty Rescue, email [email protected]