Thursday, April 11, 2013

No Tea, Just Peacocks

My apologies to those of you who showed up for Thursday tea and found I'd made no preparations. No tea, no cakes. The house was in a mess and the dogs needed baths. Laundry was piled and ready for the wash but the machine was silent.

Alas, the weather was beautiful and my garden needed my attention. So it was there you found me -- in grubby clothes, no make-up, hair frightfully undone!

I hope you'll forgive me and join me NEXT Thursday and I promise to have the kettle on to boil.

Meanwhile, I'll show you a collection of photos of a magnificent bird - the Peacock.

All images via Pinterest

Peacock in flight

The peacock is an amazing fowl! Their beauty is unsurpassed. Here are a few facts:

Peafowl males are about 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) long. Of that about 5 feet (1.5 meters) is their "train" which is made up of the feathers that cover their tail feathers. They weigh up to 13 pounds (6kg). 

They live about twenty years.

There are three subspecies of peafowl. The blue peafowl is found in India and Sri Lanka and the green peafowl is native to Java and Myanmar (aka: Burma). The Congo peafowl lives in the Congo River Basin in Africa. They live in forested areas and bushlands (areas without too much vegetation).

Peafowl eat plants and insects and arachnids and amphibians.

Leopards and tigers and other large cats are their enemies. Snakes and lizards eat their eggs.

Peacocks are a type of pheasant. The word “peacock” actually only refers to males. Females are called “peahens” and both sexes together are called “peafowl.” 

Both sexes have spurs on their heels which they use to defend themselves and sometimes to fight amongst themselves. 

People have kept peafowl pets for thousands of years. 

They are known for their "train" which is made up of the feathers that cover their tail feathers.The brilliant hues and decorative "eye" of a peacock's tail feathers are this bird's trademark. An adult peacock's train of feathers can be sixty inches long.

It used to be believed that females selected males with more impressive train displays but recently studies have shown that it is actually noises made during courting that attract females.

A family of peacocks is known as a bevy. A group of peacocks is referred to as a party.

Peacocks prefer peace and harmony and will try to avoid commotion.

Peacocks have a crest or crown on the top of their heads that gives them a royal appearance.

According to history peacocks were brought to Egypt more than three thousand years ago by the Phoenicians.

Peacocks are quite sociable birds.

Peacocks reach maturity between eight and ten months of age.

Contrary to popular belief, peacocks do fly but only for short distances.

Peacocks get along well with other birds and like plenty of open space where they can roam free. They also enjoy being where they can get plenty of sunlight.

Males may have a harem of females which will each lay three to five eggs.

The average length of an adult peacock's beak is an inch long.

Peacock feathers are still popular decorations and are often used in crafts.

Peacocks are one of the easiest birds to raise.

Female peacocks make excellent mothers.

At night peacocks like to roost up high in trees or other high places.
A peacock can have a wingspan of up to six feet.

Down through the ages peacock feathers have been a topic of superstition and folklore. According to various sources they may be considered as a token of good luck or feared as a bearer of ill fortune. 

I have only seen peacocks in zoos, but I would love to see them in their natural setting.


  1. A beautiful selection of pictures of probably nature's most beautiful creature! The one standing in front of the pink bush is extraordinary. While not native to Australia they seem to do well here, and I have seen them roaming freely in some large gardens especially in country hotels and resorts. I have seen them fly up onto a roof and love to see the male fan out the tail. They are quite bold, not shy at all, and always march around regally, owning the space!

    1. Lucky you to have seen them. They fascinate me, probably because I've never seen one roaming freely. Their wing span amazes me.

  2. They are exquisitely beautiful birds - but they do make a racket at times when they are in screeching mode!!!

    1. I didn't realize they were such noisy birds. Not a bird I'd want to keep then.

  3. My cousin has peacocks on her farm. When I get a chance to visit her I always search for some spare feathers.


    1. Those feathers are so pretty. I imagine you find such crafty things to do with them.

  4. I love peacocks! Thanks for this most instrictive and informative post. I didn't know females are called peahens, but looking closely at the word it makes perfect sense.
    The ZOO in Ljubljana has peacocks and they are allowed to walk around freely and mingle with other animals. It's surprising that they don't try to flee the ZOO I always thought the reason for this is that they are fully domesticated and return to their pens eventually.

    1. I didn't know about the peahen name either. I learned a few things myself when I was researching their background.

  5. The white peacock ( hen ) is my favorite. Did not know that there are white ones. I´ve also seen them only in zoos.
    Thank you for the information, of which I was totally unaware of : ).

    1. That white one IS pretty amazing. I don't know if the white ones are considered "albinos" or if they are a separate subcategory. I wouldn't like to see the white one if it gets dirty, however.

  6. The white peacock is breathtaking. We have the Mary Hill Museum close by that breed peacocks on their property. You can go up close and personal to them but they are so "regal" they have a way of keeping just the perfect distance so when trying to take a picture is quite a challenge. I have never seen a white one in person. I had some peacock feathers in a vase at home and someone said they heard that was bad luck. Must be one of the superstitions???

    1. Oh really? I didn't know about the bad luck thing. I wonder why. Superstition, I'm sure! But glad you played it safe anyway.

  7. Beautiful images of the peacock.
    We used to have them. But they make such a racket and a big mess all over.
    But they are a lovely bird..especially when angry and the male opens his feathers.
    happy gardening.
    i think we are all looking forward to some spring days in the garden.

    1. Several people have mentioned the noise they make; not a good thing for a homeowner. Thanks, and happy gardening to you as well!

  8. I prefer to look at pictures of these birds,I inherited 6 of them with the estate when I moved here, loved the sight of them especially when their Spring courting ritual began,the male opened his stunning fan- tail and paraded in front of his female audience.
    Sadly that sight was spoilt by their LOUD screeching noise (similar to a baby crying) it started at 4am every morning under the bedroom HB started to throw walking sticks out of the window at saying some unsavoury words....after weeks of this a local farmer came with nets and took them away....silence returned.

    This week I saw a white peahen on the lawn ogwd! Even the villagers' 4 miles away were pleased as they also could hear their screams.

    Yes they do look great strutting about the Castle/Abbey lawns,they are welcome to the creatures. Rant over. Judith.

    1. Enjoyed the recounting of your experience with the peacocks. Ouch! 4 a.m. is way to early to be awakened by anything. Very funny, but not for you and your HB!! Thank you for your personal insight into the peacock. I think I'll just continue enjoying pictures and not consider getting one of my own.

  9. My grandparents had peacocks in Southern California. Messy, and loud, so being French, my grandparents cooked them. Not delicious! I am often surprised at how different the French reaction is to everyone elses. Nothing is wasted.

  10. I wonder if the French are that way due to the way they had to do without during two world wars? Or does it go back further. Come to think of it, there's ALWAYS been a war. Late 1800s - French-Prussian war which was devastating for the French, and the population probably suffered even more in that war than in the wars of the 20th century.


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