HARD LIFE OF PEACOCKS
Humans Should Be So Lucky!

by Florence W Deems
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The peacocks who live at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, USA, live a birds' sweet life. Fully feathered with unclipped flight feathers, these beautiful birds all have their favorite haunts and the males each stake out territories during the spring mating season. But after summer arrives, the males lose their glorious tails and also lose their desire to stake out territories. Some of the birds then flock together in groups of about 6 to 11 or so.

One brisk fall day the wind was ruffling feathers, so the birds decided to try huddling up next to the Museum Building's lee end. First the males arrived. One of them discovered that those humans had left the big door open. Peacocks are opportunists. So one of the males decided he'd do a little exploring inside the building. The mess you see inside results not from the peacocks, but from the staff dismantling an old exhibit and installing a new one. Peacocks make their own special kind of messes, which is one reason the staff people don't allow them into the buildings. Below is a sequence of events shortly after the brave male stepped foot inside the building.

To see a larger size, please click on the thumbnail images.

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Peacock: Hey, they left the door open! Think I'll look inside.



Human: Oh no you don't! Scram!



Human to human: I caught him just in time. I'll lower the door.



Peacock: Those humans, always ruining a guy's fun!
The door is now down. A female and one of her two chicks decided to sun themselves right next to the door. The other chick didn't realize for a few moments that they had moved. She issued a stream of "where are you?" chirps which Mom answered. So the first image is of the second chick playing catch up. But the three had only a few moments of peaceful sunning, when suddenly from inside a human had walked up and pressed the button to raise the door. Startled out of their sunning, Mom and chicks started to move away. I could just hear them thinking as they walked past me, "Those humans are always interfering with us!" Ah, yes, the hard life of a peacock!


Chick to Mom: You moved and didn't tell me!



Peacock family: Oh this sun feels so good!



Mom & chicks: Oh-oh! We've gotta move again!



Mom to chicks: Always gotta watch out.
These humans are everywhere!
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A while later after I ate lunch at the - you guessed it - The Peacock Café, I looked out the door to the smaller room of the Food Court and discovered 5 males had decided to take refuge from the wind there. The first image I shot through the door. The next three images I took when I went outside, looked up and discovered the alpha male (he's the one who has lost only a part of his magnificent tail) sitting high up on a railing on the covered exit from the upper story of the Domestic Arts Building.


5 peacocks exploring



First sight of the Alpha Male up high



Moving closer for a better view



Wonder if he's thinking that I'll disturb his peace?

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~ Life of Peacocks - 1 ~ 2 ~
~ Hard Life of Peacocks ~
~ Young Male Tries Out His Tail Display ~
~ Peacock Life Cycle ~
~ The White Peacock ~ Miscellany ~

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