by Florence W Deems
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After mating, the hens retreat to build hidden nests in which to lay their eggs. The groundskeepers closely guard these nesting sites. I have yet to stumble upon any. So this private aspect of a hen's life goes unrecorded, at least by my cameras.

I've seen the hatchlings when only a few days old, however. The groundskeepers tell me that when only an hour or so old, the tiny chicks can fly and thus escape ground predators like foxes. But the hens must be on constant watch to protect their chicks from hawks and crows - and from male peacocks, too!

One groundskeeper told me of an attack by a red-tailed hawk. The raptor dove straight for the chick, grabbed it and rose into the air. Mama hen flew up and caught the hawk about 6 feet in the air. She knocked the hawk to the ground, the chick escaped, and Mama proceeded to kick the tar out of the hawk!

The man said he had to intervene to save the hawk's life. When he picked up the hawk, it was almost unconscious! He took it to the "bird hospital" and laid it in a cage with a water dish. The next morning the hawk was up and rarin' to go, so he opened the cage door and the raptor flew away, seeming none the worse for the attack! But we all bet that hawk will be very careful and avoid going after a peacock chick in the future.

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

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Peahens usually lay 1 to 3 eggs. But one year
this hen hatched 5 babies.

These chicks are only a few days old and already one has started to not pay attention to where his mama is moving.
This is how chicks get caught and eaten.

Another hen hatched only 2 chicks.
These are just a few days old, too.

This is not a family out for a stroll. A minute after I made this image, the hen chased the male away! I missed that action.

I couldn't get in front of this hen and her 3 chicks,
so a rear view has to suffice.

A hen and her chick foraged for insects in some grasses. The chick displayed by raising its tale. So I'd guess it was a male.
This is a false-color infra red photo.

The same chick with its sibling.
Another false-color infra red image.

No sooner had I made the above image than the one chick attacked its sibling, pinning it down while the victim squalled. The hen did nothing to stop the attack, which looked pretty vicious to me.
So I stamped my foot - and the one-sided fight stopped.

There are 4 chicks resting in these plants while Mama is on watch. I think this is the hen that had 5 babies, but lost one of them.

This bold, or lost, chick marched right past me one day. It joined a bunch of hens and babies in some weeds. So I guess it wasn't lost after all. It was about 2 weeks old.

No sooner had the lone chick gotten into the weeds than along came this hen and single chick. They joined the other hens and chicks in the weeds, too.

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Back to Page 1

~ 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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