Peafowl on the loose

Posted on 2010-07-17 21:10

A friend and I were kicking back in easy chairs in my home office recently, sipping some wonderful Cream Ale that my friend had brewed when the girls burst into the room pointing at the window. "Look! Look outside!" one yelped, "I see our next door neighbor with a camera!" said the other. A bit groggy from the ale, we forced ourselves out of the comfortable chairs and stumbled to peer out the window. "What is it?" I asked. I saw nothing out of the window, but the clamour in the front room told me they were probably seeing something out front now. Making our way in there, we were lucky enough to spy the object of the girls' excitement - a male Indian peafowl (a peacock) strutting around on the lawn. Peacocks are the national bird of India and Pakistan, and while there are a few in sanctuaries on the Island, as far as I know there aren't any communities living in the woods hereabouts. Grabbing our cameras we caught some images of this most impressively arrayed fowl, but weren't lucky enough to see him fan his brilliant plumage.

A visit to the county farm nearby revealed that while they weren't missing any of their own peacocks, they had heard tales of at least one peacock in our neighborhood last year. Perhaps he's being taken care of by someone or taken up residence in the woods.

Reading about Peafowl I was interested to read:

Many of the brilliant colours of the peacock plumage are due to an optical interference phenomenon, Bragg reflection, based on (nearly) periodic nanostructures found in the barbules (fiber-like components) of the feathers