Saturday, November 24, 2012

peacock ~ 11/24/12 ~ Casa de Fruta


Well, we didn't have turkey this Thanksgiving holiday, but we did spot another phasianid on our way home.  There were 5 peacocks haphazardly crossing the road and creating a traffic jam at Casa de Fruta, a roadside attraction that has grown to monstrous proportions in the 35 years I've passed through here.  Andy and I conferred that it's been about that long since we last saw peacocks regularly.  They seem to have been in fashion back in the 1970's.  Friends of my parents had them in their yard, and I have a vague recollection of my mom not knowing how to get one off the car so we could leave.  While the name peacock is ostensibly gender specific, I had never given peafowl a second thought before and figured Nature ID is as good of an excuse as any to look them up.  There are two other kinds of peafowl, the green peafowl (Pavo muticus) and the Congo peafowl (Afropavo congensis).  The Indian blue originates obviously from India, where it is the national bird, as well as from Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.  They have been introduced around the world.  In some places, feral populations have caused a nuisance with their calls and other issues with such a large bird.

5 comments:

Imperfect and tense said...

"Other issues"?

That made me guffaw!

John W. Wall said...

I had to look up "pavo" because our wild turkeys are M. gallopavo (gallinaceous peacock?). Also saw that pavo is Spanish for turkey....

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Glad you got a laugh, Graeme. I ran out of patience to list the issues, such as pooping and damage to gardens, cars, and homes.

John, thanks a lot for sparking an etymology hunt. Pavo is supposed to sound like the peacock's call, but it sounds more like "pau" or "ow" to me (see embedded link under "calls" above). I don't know which came first the peacock definition or fear as in paveĊ, which would make sense since peacocks have historically been used like guard dogs to sound an alert. The scientific name for turkey is weird as it's a combination of Greek (Meleagris = guineafowl) and Latin (gallopavo = rooster peacock). It's interesting that male displays use covert feathers in peacocks and tail feathers in turkeys.

biobabbler said...

=) I LOVE peacocks. My uncle had them roaming around on their property in northern California (rolling acres of oak/pine) and I always thought their call sounded like "Hey, Al! Hey, Al!" (my uncle's name is Alan). Love that call, and what a gigantic, delightful feather to come upon, walking around outside. Lovely creatures.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Hey, bb! Finding peacock feathers is fun. And, the best part, you can legally keep them ;) Although some believe keeping the feathers at home brings bad luck with the evil eye.