A peacock that flew the coop from the Central Park Zoo returned home safely Wednesday morning after spending the night perched on the ledge of a Fifth Ave. building.

The flighty fowl woke up from his snooze on a fifth floor ledge at 858 Fifth Ave. and decided to head back to the zoo at 6:45 a.m.

Flying diagonally across Fifth Ave., the bird landed next to the netted enclosure from which it had escaped the day before.


"We have recovered the peacock as anticipated this morning when it flew home at sunrise back into the Central Park Zoo," said zoo director Jeff Sailer.

"Our staff monitored the bird through the night, and at 6:45am, he flew back on his own. The bird is now secured in the aviary," he said.

Colleen Holmes, 36, and Stephanie Witowski, 29, were completing their morning run when the exotic bird sailed overhead.

"He just turned and flew off," Holmes said. "I can't believe he just flew over our heads."

"It's a beautiful bird," Witowski said.

Sailer said zookeepers knew all along that the colorful creature would return home on its own from its adventure.

"A thorough understanding of the peacock's natural behavior allowed for the successful planning of its recovery," he said.

The zoo kept the aviary closed Wednesday while the unnamed bird settled in with the two others he shares quarters with.

One visitor who stopped by to catch a glimpse, said he was puzzled by the peacock's return.

"Why would he come back?" asked chef Mike Kerwin, of Fairfield, Conn. "I wouldn't want to go back into captivity. I'd probably go hang out on top of the Statue of Liberty. You could see everything from there. It must be the food. They must treat him good."

The beautifully-plumed bird had ended up on a fifth-floor window ledge at 838 Fifth Ave. across from the zoo on Tuesday, peering down at a growing crowd of onlookers and the yellow cabs whizzing.

As the hours passed, the avian escape-artist twisted and craned his neck, ruffled his feathers and cleaned himself, seemingly oblivious to all.

Around 3 a.m. he appeared to take a nap, waking up again sometime around 5 a.m. After another two hours, the bird grew bored and went home.

The Central Park Zoo, which discovered it was down one peacock during a morning count, had said the bird posed no danger.

Peafowl are omnivorous and eat plants, seeds, bugs and reptiles.

In May, a peahen escaped from the Bronx Zoo and was strutting around the Bronx for at least a day before being rescued by garage owner Matos Edison, a bird lover who plucked her out of traffic.

In March, the city's imagination was captured by a cobra that went missing for a week from the Bronx Zoo.

Its urbane adventures around town were documented in a fake Twitter account and there was a Facebook group urging the cobra be invited to guest host "Saturday Night Live."

The cobra was eventually found alive. To everyone's general disappointment, it turned out she had never actually left the zoo's reptile house.

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