Sunday, 5 April 2015


A view across part of the farm - a pen of lovely whites and an assortment beyond.
My outing this Easter morning was to a peacock farm in the flat farmland of the East Riding of Yorkshire - as it's not open to the public I won't give details, but I was kindly shown round by the proprietor, John. He and his wife moved to the site last year and are still establishing the pens needed to keep a very large number of peafowl, and breed from them. As well as the sheer number of birds there, the really exciting thing for me was to see for the first time a number of colour variants that I'd previously only known from images online and in the book Extraordinary Pheasants. Mostly selected in the United States they are still extremely rare in this country, with only a few enthusiasts keeping them. Though interesting to see, it has to be said that is quite a reflection on human perversity that dull-coloured versions of a bird known for its colour and beauty should be selected and become rather valuable!

Very many thanks to John for a truly fascinating morning.

A pied bronze peacock

Part of the train of a white-eyed opal peacock

Cameo (in flight) and Indian blue peacocks having a bit of a scrap.

Not showing its true colours very well in this pic, the purple colour variant really does have purplish overtones in its plumage. This purple black-shouldered peacock was magnificent.

The other species: the Javan Green Peafowl, Pavo muticus subsp. muticus, is an extremely handsome bird, but isn't quite as amenable to cultivation as the familiar P. cristatus.

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