Spent the better part of this morning following the antics of the wild peacocks which live in the large tract of open area opposite our home.
Usually I’m all about taking pictures, editing them and then just letting the wild life be; but today was tres interesting mainly because I witnessed some really unusual (for me) group dynamics amongst the birds which I’d never been privy to before.
With the monsoons underway, the peacocks have been more raucous than before and in search of a mate / mates. The group of peacocks I was photographing seems to be running low on peahens and has more than it knows what to do with- males. There’s a lone male with the requisite full plumage the birds are famous for, whereas the other males are a couple of feet short of feathers to be really and truly showy.
This poor bird was literally stalked, chased and cut down to size each time he started to preen or found a higher ground for himself where he could display his wares, as it were.
Each time a new male shadowed him while he crept about in the careful way peacocks tread and immediately got in his face till he folded his plumes and lowered his head in submission.Then the aggressive male went off to forage and his place was taken by another male who would keep the pretty boy in line.
I have never witnessed such behavior and it was like a live Animal Planet special unfolding in front of my eyes. And where were the peahens while all this posturing was being done for their benefit? They were calmly walking around, having their breakfast and seemingly turning a blind eye to all this machismo.
The things people do for love…sighs.
All in all, it’s tough for all species to get a mate and fine feathers do not an alpha male make!
Note: Photos from this morning’s peacock-watching session are available here.