Peacocks flock to Brian Vazquez, Prado Regional Park general services worker, during the morning feeding at the Chino park’s parking lot on Friday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Cindy Yamanaka | cyamanaka@scng.com

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Peacock plumage of iridescent blues and greens pop against Prado Regional Park’s parking lot as the beautiful birds rest on tractor tires, on top of cars and trucks and in the trees.

Twenty years ago when a nearby peacock farm closed, the owners dropped off 25 peacocks at the Chino park — the birds never left. Food, protection from predators and an inability to fly long distances make the parking lot an ideal sanctuary.

General services worker Brian Vazquez has a soft spot for one special bird named Charlie. Charlie lost his foot trying to escape from a predator, according to Ryan Isom, Interim Park Operations Chief.

Vasquez prevents “fowl” play on the weaker bird, by feeding him last. He patiently coaxes the handicapped peacock from the roof in a sweet, gentle voice. “Come on Charlie. Everything’s good. I’m here,” the young man says.

“If the peacocks are unable to successfully reproduce, they will eventually die off. However, they’ll always be welcome at the park,” Isom says.

Park visitors are welcome to bird watch in the office parking lot as well. It’s just one of the many unexpected surprises at the 2,000-acre Chino park.