The Nomadic Peacock
& How Peacocks Behave
Bob, up on the roof
In the summer months, many people find peacocks,
the male ones running across their yards or
hanging out in their backyards. I have had several
"drop" in, and returned one to the neighbor;
the rest I had no idea who they belonged to,
so I gave them away, or sold them.
They seem to like the food here, even though they
usually get chased around by the oldest male.
The newcomer nomad male may challenge the oldest
male peacock there, or may bother other animals in the yard,
like geese or chickens, or even cats, and this may become a problem.
In this case, the owner may look for the former owners (post notices
in your area or newspaper),
find a new home for the nomad, or cage him up for a while.
My birds seems to have a harmonious balance now, and
a newcomer may upset that, but sometimes they fit right in.
My theory is that where they were living became
too crowded, too many males, so the alpha
male, the leader and usually the oldest,
makes life so difficult for the younger one, and
he leaves, sometimes with a peahen, or sometimes the younger one
the older peacock to leave. I had a pair just
leave one day, and my neighbor saw them walking
across their field, never to be seen here again.
I hear they can go miles away, or just to your neighbors'.
Often times they leave because they are not getting
enough human attention or regular feeding.
Younger males get along with the hens until
they are mature, about three years old. They are part
of the group and eat with them and roost next
to them in the trees at night. But they are still the lowest
on the totem pole, and often are chased and jumped on
by the older females. There is a definite pecking order
with the females too, usually age-related.
Older females with babies will chase younger
females with young, making life confusing for the
babies, who often all end up with one mother.
This is difficult at night as the mother tries to
cover up too many babies on the tree limb,
and someone ususally ends up on the ground to be
rescued by us for the first few nights.
All in all, I would say that peacocks are very
persnickity with each other. Our two grown males
walk a sort of Mason-Dixon line, a boundary
which they pace, nose to nose, occasionally flaring
up at one another. A female will go right up to one
of our dogs and give it a MOVE look, and that
dog gets up and finds another place to sit. I
notice the females are especialy touchy at
spring time, before nesting. Most peacocks
chase cats, and I hear they are death on snakes.
Yet, other times peacocks and dogs sit together
in the sun, peacefully.
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