Usually, peacocks are at home strutting proudly around the scorching landscape of the Indian subcontinent.

Where you don't expect to see these magnificent birds is the wilds of deepest, darkest Derbyshire.

One day, Sheru the peacock arrived at the Derby home of Bhajan and Kulwinder Pabla last August and has chosen to stay ever since.

He usually lives in their garden but likes to go into the house to strut around the kitchen. He sleeps in their neighbour's tree.

Last week Sheru also went missing, leaving to bewildered residents not believing what they are seeing walking down the street. Luckily, he was returned to the Pablas.

There is a free-roaming population of peacocks in Dorset.

Our pet is a peacock: The bird who was so taken with a suburban semi that he moved in

By Fay Schlesinger
13th May 2010
Daily Mail

Strutting proudly with his exotic tail feathers splayed out around him, Sheru the peacock looks out over his surroundings with the regal pride of a king surveying his land.

Except that his kingdom is a semi-detached house on a busy road in suburban Derby, and his perch is a kitchen sink.

The bird arrived at the home of grandparents Bhajan and Kulwinder Pabla one morning last August and has chosen to stay ever since.

At home: Although the peacock lives in the garden, it sometimes finds its way into Bhajan and Kulwinder Pabla's kitchen

He lives mainly in the garden, but often comes into the kitchen to strut about on the sideboard.

At other times he perches proudly on the roof of the greenhouse, or shows off his vibrant plumage on the patio.

Mr Pabla, 56, said: 'I suppose people may think he is a slightly strange pet, but he seems to like it here, and we love him.

'When he first arrived, he was barely recognisable as a peacock. He didn't have any of the big feathers. They only came as he got older.

'He doesn't seem to want to leave. But with the food and attention he gets, would you want to?

'At night he sleeps in my neighbour's tree and during the day he walks around the garden or sleeps in the greenhouse - it's like a five-star hotel to him.

'But he is a very cocky bird and if we leave the back door open he'll poke around the kitchen and climb on the sideboard.

'However, he's well-behaved most of the time. I have two small grandchildren, and he's wonderful with them.'

Last week Sheru - an Indian name meaning tiger - went missing.

Big fans: Sheru shows off his vibrant plumage in the Pabla's back garden

As Mr and Mrs Pabla, 54, and their children Raj, 22, and Sharon, 20, searched for their pet, he ruffled feathers in the suburb of Normanton when he was spotted strutting across city roads.

Confused residents reported the sightings to the police and RSPCA.

But after a weekend's excursion, a friend found him on a nearby street and he has now settled back into the family home.

Mr Pabla said: 'Some kids chased him away from my garden. He ran off towards the Showcase Cinema and that was the last I saw of him.

'We couldn't find him anywhere. We wondered how difficult it was to lose a peacock.

'He went straight out into the garden to the greenhouse and settled down for a snooze.'

Mr Pabla asked the RSPCA to visit twice to check on Sheru. Officers approved of his unusual accommodation and recommended feeding bird seed.

But RSPB spokesman Chris Hunt warned he might repeat the disappearing act.

He said: 'It may begin to wander further as it gets older and starts to think about breeding.'