Peafowl

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Peafowl, Vancouver Island, BC
Peafowl, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

The Indian Peacock has over the past 30 years managed to establish several feral colonies on Vancouver Island. Peacocks are one of the world’s most beautiful birds. Although it is native to the Indian Subcontinent, it has been transported to most places on the planet for its beauty. It has been allowed to wander around the grounds of many city parks. In North America, there are several established, self-sustaining populations. These are found in Florida, California, and Hawaii as well as a few populations of feral birds in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island. The population that is located on Mount Work that can be found on the Saanich Peninsula has shown that it is a self-sustaining colony. Now these wild birds are breeding with domestic birds, this makes it difficult to get a real answer to the numbers of wild birds.

Peacock, Vancouver Island, BC
Peacock, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Peafowl are quite large birds and they can be quite noisy when they are together and they tend to be very messy. They are considered by some to be nuisance birds. Peacocks use a mixture of natural and farm habitats on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Peafowl birds are ground-dwelling and they prefer to reside in forests on the edge of farmlands.

Most people use the term “peacock” when referencing both male and female birds, but the name peacock refers to male peafowl only. the females are called peahens. Peafowl belongs to the pheasant family. There are two species of peafowl, the Indian Peafowl, and the Green Peafowl. Both types are endangered because of habitat loss, smuggling, and predation in their home habitats.

Peahen, Vancouver Island, BC
Peahen, Vancouver Island, BC

Peafowl are omnivorous birds, they like to eat plants and insects, fruits and seeds along with insects and small lizards and frogs. They prefer grains but will eat just about anything if its plant or animal.

A peafowl’s feathers on its body are quite beautiful both in the front as well as back. The males exhibit incredible green feathers in their beautiful, elongated tail trains. Both males and females possess green plumage which has tan mottlings right from their crests to tails. The peahen has no fantail though. For being such a beautiful bird, their call is quite unpleasant. The first time I heard one in the forest, it had me stumped as what this horrible sound was coming from until I finally tracked it down only to realize it was a peacock.

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