The male peacock apparently wandered from the zoo at around noon Tuesday. Two hours later, it was spotted on a fifth-floor window of a Fifth Avenue apartment building.
Zoo officials had asked people not to approach the bird, even though they say it posed no danger. The peacock flew away around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday after about 18 hours and is now back at the zoo.
Still, crowds gathered across the street from Fifth Avenue and 65th street to get pictures of the peacock, which was seen napping on the window sill and later spreading its wings and feathers.
"We were going to the zoo, and it came to us today," one passerby said. "It's pretty cool."
It's not clear how the peacock escaped.
Central Park Zoo Director Jeff Sailer issued the following statement:
"We have recovered the peacock as anticipated this morning when it flew home at sunrise back into the Central Park Zoo. Our staff monitored the bird through the night, and at 6:45 a.m., he flew back on his own. The bird is now secured in the aviary. A thorough understanding of the peacock's natural behavior allowed for the successful planning of its recovery."