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Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus

One of our neighbors keeps peafowl. And sometimes his birds wander of to our garden. Last year a male was walking in our garden, but there was little light and all pictures we took turned out to be too bad for publication on the web. Lately our garden has been visited by two females. Slowly walking about they even discovered our feeding table and soon all food was gone. We do not know they did it, but the fact remains that on the day these pictures were taken, our feeding table collapsed and all food was gone...

We are talking about the Indian Peafowl here, which is the most popular species. In days gone by one used to see lots of them: many farmers had them and all estates kept them in their garden. The big feathers from the male's tail were used to decorate the house or even a hat. Nowadays they are still being kept in some estate gardens, but the majority is found in parks. Keeping Indian Peafowls also has disadvantages. The male has an extremely big mouth, or beak actually. Luckily it doesn't scream all day long, but when it does, it often gets you by surprise. Besides the male never sleeps apparently, for it also screeches in the middle of the night, normally when you are just dozing of. The screak is of an ugliness we won't dare to describe. Despite being a tropical bird originally the Indian Peafawl has no problems living through our winter. And it is one of the most impressive members of the pheasant family, screaming or not!

The Indian Peafowl is an exotic bird in our garden. In this case exotic means the animal doesn't belong in our country. Usually such animals escaped somewhere. But some exotic animals are imported from abroad. They simply were present on imported bananas or plants. Most of these animals will not survive a European winter. Only few species will adapt to our climate and can be found in the wild later on. The Indian Peafowl can withstand the low temperatures in winter, but is unable to find food. So it doesn't live in the wild in Holland.

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