Buds N Bugs:Peafowl: Glorious pheasants

Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 03:18 PM.

White peacocks are not albinos; they have a genetic mutation known as leucism, which causes the lack of pigments in the plumage. Albino animals and birds have a complete lack of color and red or pink eyes while white peafowl have blue eyes.

Peahens are colored tan, buff or off-white and lack the large tail. Their coloration is designed as camouflage during nesting. The females lay three to 25 eggs annually that are incubated for 28 days. Because they nest on the ground, chicks and brooding females are particularly vulnerable to predators like raccoons, coyotes, dogs and cats.

Peafowl can live to be about 20 years old. They eat insects, plants, and small creatures. Domesticated birds should be fed cracked corn, wheat and game bird food, which can be supplemented with cat food, mealy worms and dark greens like kale.

Peafowl can be testy and do not mix well with other domestic birds.

For those interested in learning more about peafowl there are numerous websites dealing with the subject including www.peafowl.com, the Peafowl Information Center. The center provides help with finding homes for unwanted birds and locating lost peacocks. Among the resources offered is a compact disc of recorded peafowl calls designed to lure straying birds back home. Peafowl eggs and supplies are also available at the site.

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