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Colorful, Unique Sight At Shopping Center
Several peacocks, or rather the female variety called peahens, have moved into a Riverbank shopping center and daily stalk the sidewalks, peer into windows and wander around foraging for anything edible.

"They like pizza and donuts, probably beer too. They love looking at their reflections in hubcaps and preening. The only problem is they're getting bigger and their mess is getting bigger," were among the comments by the storeowners of the River Heights Shopping Center at the northwest corner of Oakdale and Patterson roads.

First reported there a month or more ago, the two or three birds disappear at night and have been seen flying over the wall at the west end of the center which separates it from a mobile home park. They may belong to a resident located in that direction. They possibly come up from the Stanislaus River to the north.

What is for certain, they have become very tame, sitting against the doors and hardly bothering to move out of the way of customers visiting the real estate and title companies, restaurant, donut shop and pizza place that make up the center.

"They're our buddies. They sit and stare in the windows of the pizza shop and they look at themselves in hubcaps. They're not afraid and they don't bother anyone," said Karen Schwarz of PMZ Real Estate.

"They occasionally leave a present, you know a mess (excrement). Somebody called Animal Control. I've seen them drive by. But they haven't stopped here as far as I know," she added.

PMZ agent Rachel Wisuri said she'd seen peacocks crossing Oakdale Road to the south - one scared by a truck took off and flew across the road - and has spotted them even further east on Roselle Avenue.

"We believe they come from the mobile home park," said Richard Hundley, also of PMZ. "Once in a while a dog or a kid chases them and they fly back over the wall. They come over here to look into windows, see their reflections and eat. We feed them. They're fun to watch. They are like my pets. But I worry they will get hit if they get out on the road."