Shri Jasnath Asan, Rajasthan, India
Photo © Shri Jasnath Asan, 2016
19 NOV 2016
Native to India, the peacock is unmistakable and unforgettable. More correctly, a peacock is a male peafowl and the female peafowl is called a peahen. Sure enough the cute little chicks are called peachicks, not to be confused with chick peas. A group of peafowls is known, depending on your source, as either a muster, pride, or ostentation. I personally think the term an “ostentation” is most befitting such a fabulous bird.
The female peafowl, the peahen, has dull coloration to help her blend into to her surrounding but the peacock is definitely on the ostentatious, flamboyant side and will not go unnoticed in a crowd of pigeons. Shimmering iridescent blue head and neck, scallops of iridescent green down their back, and then there are those magnificent, intricate, several foot long, tail coverts that cover an ordinary non-descript tail.
The adult male is definitely a flashy dresser, with some amazing courtship moves as well. When he really wants to impress a peahen, he props up the train of tail coverts with his shorter, stiffer tail feathers and unfolds it like a fan, into a broad semicircle 1.8 to 2.1 meters wide. There is a legend that says that the peacock’s creator gave it a horrible voice, lest its beauty make the bird overly conceited. Peafowl have 11 different calls, but the peacocks are the ones that really yell an ear splitting, teeth rattling “may-AWE, may-AWE, that can travel for incredibly long distances.
Only down side to all their glory is that they fly like a cinder block. Though heavy bodied, they can and do fly, but not with the glorious grace of an eagle. They jump from their perch and flutter or soar short distances to the ground, land with a thud, and run for safety. It seems like the energy expenditure of flying is not undertaken lightly and is definitely left for those “must get up into or down from a tree” or “must escape” scenarios.
Along the Way
Panchla Siddha, India
Sharon K. Schafer
I paint, photograph, and speak about wild places in an act of reciprocity that is as vital to me as heartbeat or breath.
My interest in the magic and mystery of the natural world lies at the intersection of art and science.
Made possible through
the generosity of
Artists for Conservation
Generous support and inspiration provided by
Shri Jasnath Asan