Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Regal Peacock


"Our peacock eggs have just hatched," Janice mentioned over lunch the other day. (I wrote about their Muloccan Cockatoo name Baby here.) We were full of questions: How big are their eggs? What color are the babies? How long does it take for them to grow? How many peafowl (the proper inclusive term for male -- peacock -- and female peahen) do you have?

Their eggs are about the size of goose eggs, Janice said, and the babies look a lot like baby chickens. They are yellowish, and it's very hard to tell whether they are male or female when they're first hatched. Each year the peacock's feathers grow longer, but it takes about three years for his long, colorful feathers to grow in. As for how many they have, she thought maybe 15.

Several years ago they got a couple of male peacocks and one day a peahen showed up in their yard, likely after hearing their call. (Have you every heard a peacock call? We were at the zoo years ago, our son riding on Tom's shoulders, when suddenly, from a few feet above him, a peacock perched on a ledge leet loose with a terrifying noise that nearly knocked our boy to the ground! It sounds like a desperate cry for help!)

Well, this is something I didn't want to miss. So yesterday I took my camera to Steve and Janice's and spent an hour or so getting to know their peafowl!


The neck of the peacock is the vibrant blue of the young bird above. Under the adult peacock's tail are stiff, orange-ish feathers that support the beautiful tail feathers when they are spread out. The female's neck is green, and her feathers do not grow long. Their brown feathers are very similar, though Janice says the male feathers have a subtle pattern to them.

A mature male, a young female and a young male on a roof

Two males

Exquisite beauty

Preening

I followed the babies around for quite a while but had trouble getting their pictures, as they stayed close to mama. One little group off on its own moved too fast for me to keep up with, but  I did manage to get these two shots.



Steve and Janice sent me home with my own bouquet of feathers. What a sweet reminder of a lovely time with friends and a chance to enjoy their beautiful birds.

2 comments:

Anna Porter said...

How fun! Thanks for sharing great photos and good information!

Ginger Kauffman said...

Thanks, Anna! It as just one of those experiences too fun not to share! Plus it was a beautiful day, and I was with friends :-)

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