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indian blue peacock pavo cristatus
by sharon mau
- Artist Notes
- From my collection:
Enchanting Peafowl at the Garden of Eden, Maui, Hawai’i
In the lovely tropical Garden of Eden on Maui there is a wonderful bird feeder very much like a candy or gumball machine. You drop your quarter and turn the slot and out spills a special blend of feed for the many birds in this beautiful botanical garden of Puohokamoa Valley. It is wonderful as the birds have become conditioned to the sound and come from all directions to feed. It is a perfect photo opportunity. I sat on the ground and photographed the beautiful Peacocks, dove, ducks and other birds, filling a two gig card. Proud and beautiful the Peacock struts and poses for me.
The magnificent male has a long train of beautiful feathers, with eye spots, brown, yellow and green with black centre, brilliant blue feathers on the body, green iridescent plumage and beautiful yellows, and grey feet.
The male (peacock) Indian Peafowl has beautiful iridescent blue-green or green coloured plumage. The so-called “tail” of the peacock, also termed the “train”, is not the tail quill feathers but highly elongated upper tail coverts. The train feathers have a series of eyes that are best seen when the tail is fanned.
The Indian Peafowl is probably the oldest known ornamental bird. It was first introduced into the Mesopotamian cultures more than 4,000 years ago and then Into the Mediterranean area. Since that time, many different colors and breeds have been produced by man, including mottled, white, and a black-winged variety. Peafowl, particularly the brightly colored peacock, are one of our favorite captive birds, well suited for parks, zoos, and other domestic situations.
The peafowl is the largest member of the pheasant and turkey family. Although commonly called peacocks, this term is properly applied only to the male peafowl. Female peafowl are called peahens. There are two species of peafowl found in the wild, the Indian Peafowl and the Green Peafowl. The magnificent white peacock is actually an Indian Blue.
Peafowl build shallow nests made of sticks, leaves, and grass. Nests are usually located in the undergrowth of the rainforest.
The female (Peahen) Indian Peafowl has a mixture of dull green, brown, and grey in her plumage. She lacks the long upper tail coverts of the male but has a crest. Females can also display their plumage to ward off danger to her young or other female competition.
Peafowl can be companion animals but there may be problems with dogs, cats and other pets. They may roam and roost on adjoining property. Peafowl have been called “urban guard dogs” because their distinctive cries can act as a warning of approaching people.
Peahens lay from 3 to 5 whitish eggs usually in a shallow depression dug in the ground, hidden underneath brush or in some other concealed location. The female incubates the eggs for approximately 28 days. After hatching, the young chicks follow the mother about for protection, even though they are capable of foraging on their own. The Indian Peafowl is native to India. In the wild, these peafowl usually live in small family groups, preferring dense, hilly jungle near water. The closely related Green Peacock is found in southeast Asia.
During the spring breeding season the peacocks are courting and displaying their beautiful feather fans, providing a popular photo opportunity. According to Greek mythology, the “eyes” on the tail of a peacock were placed there by Hera to commemorate her faithful watchman, Argus who had a hundred eyes (Ovid I, 625) In the local folktales of India the peacock has a special place. A Punjabi folktale describes a Queen reqesting her husband not to hunt peacocks and tells that the peacock is her brother.
Although peafowl are large, powerful birds, they are somewhat weak fliers and spend much of their time on the ground looking for food or perching. Peafowl feed on many different types of food including both plants and small animals. They seem to be especially fond of snakes, even poisonous ones! Peafowl will fly for short distances, especially to escape danger, and also to roost in treetops at night. Peafowl, particularly the males, are one of the most colorful and strikingly marked of all birds. O
ne of the best known features of these birds is the fan or “train” of the peacock, which is opened and displayed by the male to attract the peahen. These feathers are actually long extensions of the upper tail covers. They are supported from underneath by the much shorter tail feathers. These feathers grow to be several feet long, but are shed each year just after the breeding season. Each of these long feathers also has a design near its tip which resembles an eye. The feathers of the peacock are composed of many colors, including Crescent sheens of bright blue and green. The peahen lacks these long, showy tall feathers and although colorful, is not nearly as brilliant as the male. Both sexes also have a crest of short, erect feathers along the crown of their heads.
More about sharon mau
full bio >
- hawaii, usa
- Artist Biography
Sharon Mau is a fine art photographer, journalist, visual communicator
and conceptual artist residing on the beautiful windward coast of the
tropical island of ihikapalaumaewa, more commonly known as Maui Hawaii -
Paradise on Earth - Island of Rainbows, specializing primarily in
beautiful tr ...
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