by Florence W Deems
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Life in the spring for peacocks is stressful for the males. They must stake out a territory and defend it against all other intruding males. They must display their magnificent tails whenever a peahen comes into sight. In addition to lifting and spreading those beautiful tail feathers, they must also vibrate them in a very fast and furious fashion so that the hens can hear the rustling sounds. And then they must also stamp their feet. While every so often, giving voice to their loud raucous calls to ward off other males and entice the females. Whew!

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

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He moved his head just as I clicked the shutter.

Vibrating his tail feathers. The shutter speed was just slow enough to make the tail feathers look very slightly blurred.

The stiff feathers underlie the long fancy feathers and provide support when the whole tail is raised.

The soft cushion of feathers supports the whole
heavy array of tail feathers.
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Taking a closer look, I snapped part of a gorgeous tail
as its owner passed by me.

A closer look at the "eyes".

Do you suppose the hens are ever interested in such a close look?

Males have iridescent blue feathers on their necks and black crest feathers. Females have iridescent green necks and their little crest feathers are rusty colored. After breeding season, the males lose their magnificent tail feathers, so this is how we can tell the sex of a bird during the off season.

The feet of an older male. Note the
large middle toe and the sharp spur.
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In the Food Court I came across 3 males having it out over a lone female, who is seen at the right, paying no attention to the ruckus. The blurred male had just been kicked by the male seen at the left. Soon after I made this image, the male displaying charged after the other males. That action was so fast that I didn't get a decent shot. It's a good thing that the children stayed out of the way. Flying beaks and spurs on the feet of the cocks could have inflicted wounds.

Adult size, but without the necessary "equipment." That doesn't stop this youngster from trying out the male breeding posturing. His chest, instead of being pure white, still has the speckling of babyhood, so he is less than a year old. And he's still missing a few crest feathers for his topknot.

The alpha male displays for a female
as the younger males observe.

The alpha male isn't worried about the younger males, because he knows they don't have the proper "tools" yet to challenge him.

Ah, yes. Who will win the lady's heart?
The 2-yr old at the left
or the alpha male at the right?

This regal male has left his territory, as the breeding season is over. The hens have retreated to lay their eggs.

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Summertime is the season of the hens and their chicks. But they do have to watch out for attacks on their chicks by the males! To continue the Peacock Life Cycle Story, please go to Page 2.

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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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