Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Our" Peacock

January 22, 2015: 

About a week ago a peacock began nesting at night in one of our backyard trees. At first he really scared us, and the cats, with his screams, beginning a little after sunset and continuing at intervals for about an hour.

The first night was pretty nerve-racking. Poor Miss Madeleine nearly knocked the cat flap off its hinges getting into the house, and I jumped out of my chair! No photos yet because of night time and his being up a 50-foot tree with leaf-cover.

Green Pastures Restaurant on Live Oaks keeps peacocks, as do the people in an old mansion next to the railroad tracks on West Mary St near S Lamar. Other individuals keep them, also. 

The peacocks (male) go walk-about in the Spring, trying to find a peahen (female) mate. (Guess this one is over-eager because it sure is NOT Spring here yet.) They used to go back to their homes to nest at night, but this one may have gotten lost - or is afraid to cross South Lamar Blvd, which means he is pretty darned smart!

Wild peacocks are omnivorous eating fruits, berries, grains, small mammals, reptiles, arthropods, amphibians, small snakes and insects like ants, millipedes, crickets, termites, centipedes, locust and scorpions. They will also eat flower petals, seeds, grass and plant parts as a part of their diet in the wild. Surprisingly enough, these birds will eat snakes, especially poisonous snakes. They have actually been seen stalking and then eating these snakes.

Domestic peacocks have a bit of a different diet than their wild cousins. They can eat insects, plants, cheese, cooked rice, grubs, flowers and cat food. They will also graze on grass as well as seeds and bread. So their diet is a bit more varied than their wild cousins.

March 1, 2015 from a neighbor: "My mother saw a coyote in the front yard at Cliffside & Spring Creek Dr. this morning, and it was eating a vulture. Odd!"

J and I are very sad. Our peacock is dead. Our neighbor posted this note on our neighborhood listserve: "This morning I posted a notice that said a coyote had been seen at Cliffside and Spring Creek Dr. Our local peacock has been living on the corner of Rabb and REL. Today my neighbor found the peacock's coyote munched body. (Now I wonder if my mother saw it eating a peacock, not a vulture like she thought.) Anyway, chicken owners and others you have been cautioned and our neighborhood is sadly down one handsome peacock."

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