Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, November 23, 2009

There's Something Strange In The Neighborhood!

Who ya gonna call?

I'm gonna call meems~she knows about peacocks and peahens! Hoe and Shovel Garden has seen more then its fair share of the beautiful, but pesky critters. Meems has written about how a muster of peafowl had besieged her Florida neighborhood making a big racket and damaging gardens.

We aren't having that problem here~~Just this confused peahen who has been wandering the neighborhood since September. Neighbors have posted on our listserv that they had spotted a "large bird, that sure looked like a peacock". Everyone was convince that the local coyotes would find her. But, here she is 3 months later still exploring and looking for her friends.

This is my first sighting of her. It's kind of eerie to be kneeling in the garden when you hear rustling sounds in the leaves and grass....All kinds of creature possibilities run through your mind. No where on that list is peacock or peahen! So, when I saw what looked like a very large bird, my first thought was that there were Wild Turkeys in my garden! But, there she was, a healthy peahen pecking along the ground. What a time to not have a camera with me....I rushed into the house, sure that she would be gone...She wasn't!
You can tell that she has been socialized to humans. I 'googled' and discovered that "peafowl are very intelligent and adaptable birds. They love to roam around eating bugs and grasses." That they are the only wild birds that will look you in the eye...but, being stared at makes them nervous! "In the wild they live in deciduous tropical rain forests. They sun and preen on a low perch or dig in soft dirt for a warm dirt bath. At night they roost 40-80 feet up in trees, or as high as they can get. Peacocks preen and dry their feather before leaving their perch. Then they drift gracefully down from the trees and walk around their territory, checking things out and feeding. Peacocks are excellent bug hunters, and they like small chunk dog or cat food and poultry feed." Go here for even more info.

She walked away when I approached, but she never fled the scene. In fact, she stared at the gate into the Garden Of Benign neglect for 15 minutes. It sure appeared as if she was waiting for a human to let her into an enclosure. I went back to gardening and she headed for my neighbor's where she appears to be spending the night.

Just in case she returns~~Does anyone need a peahen?

Gail

50 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness Gail !
    Yesterday we also had a stranger visit us in our back garden .. but it was a creature of feline persuasion ? LOL .. A different cat we had not seen before .. of course I took 'his" ? picture too .. but to have such a BIG bird visit you in your garden .. well that is such a treat : )
    I hope "Big Bertha" ? LOL .. finds her friends SOON !
    Joy : )

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  2. What a surprise this is. Big Bertha indeed. Don't you just wonder where she came from?? Maybe she was ousted from the flock due to her partial albinism. The coyotes have plenty of food now. Wait until it gets a little cooler and food supplies get tight. Or you could see what she looks like all dressed up like a turkey this week. I wonder if they taste just like chicken. ;)

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  3. Lisa, A website I visited said that peafowl were delicious!

    Joy, Were the girls curious about the new visitor? I hope BB finds her bevy soon, too.

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  4. Gail,

    Peahens are not anything near as bad as a male peacock! This spring and summer our neighbors 200 yards away have peacocks, for 4 months they kept us up at all hours of the night calling. The calls sound like they are standing under your windows screaming "Help Me". We designed our house so it would have a lot of windows to open and let in the breezes not hear peacoks at 2am.

    We had a hen visit us last year from the peacock neighbors and she stayed 2 days and left us an egg in the open shed.

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  5. Randy, We are fortunate that there isn't a bevy of them having a screetchfest, just this lone female wandering the neighborhood.

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  6. Dear Gail, Ms. Hen must have sensed the kindness emanating from Clay and Limestone and hoped to become a contributing member of your society, living happily in the GOBN! I think you should adopt here straight away. She does add a certain something to the ambiance there and would pay for her room and board with help controlling the insect population. Do they eat mosquitoes by chance?

    Frances

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  7. A natural mosquito control would be nice...I think they eat critters that are on the ground! They even eat mice! I wish she would capture a few chipmunks! gail

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  8. Wow, I've never had a visitor like this, Gail! I wonder where she came from. Too bad she doesn't like chipmunks:) Last year the town near us had a group of wild turkeys roaming about for several months. It became quite a controversy there about what to do about them--it even made the agenda of the city council! I don't remember what happened, but I think they finally captured them and took them to forest preserve or some place similar. I thought it was pretty funny actually.

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  9. Interesting visitor! There's a farmer nearby who has a pair of peacocks. They sneak out every now and then but never into our yard. Noisy birds though!

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  10. Because it is in your garden, I can say it is cute! The amazing thing is that is came the week of Thanksgiving, maybe you should see what peahen tastes like? Kidding.
    Rosey

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  11. I hope she finds a safe place to live. I remember visiting a garden and seeing peacocks high up in a tree. A very strange sight as they are large ungainly birds that look as if they will never be able to get off the ground.

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  12. She is pretty and if she can control the mosquitoes, I might be interested. Does she make the screaming sounds like I've heard they do?

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  13. I think you should adopt! She seems lonely, and anything that eats bugs is a keeper in my book. I've always wanted chickens, but think a peahen would be fun too.

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  14. I think she is pretty but I prefere the guys, they are so beautiful! I would love to have several in my garden...both guys and dolls, did you say they are good to cook? ;-)

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  15. Hi Gail, I'd love to have one but they wouldn't appreciate the winters up here. She is a pretty thing. Nice 'necklace'.
    Marnie

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  16. You are right--a peahen would be the last on my list of usual suspects in garden visitors! Will she be able to survive a winter there? I wonder whether she lays eggs... It would be great having someone who eats bugs and grass on hand... but I'm not seriously asking for the peahen!

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  17. Gail, what a find! I would be amazed to find a peahen rustling in the leaves too! Don't you think you need a peahen? She could be your gardening companion.

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  18. Very interesting. I didn't know much about peahens until reading your post. Maybe she is a sign of good luck?

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  19. Gail that's funny. She takes a good picture.

    Not only have we had guineas from the neighbor, we've had a couple of emus too.

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  20. What a nice visit(-:
    Hope she finds a family to adopt her(-: I have heard they have a scream like a baby!
    The males are so pretty though. One probably wouldn't be to big of a pest(-:
    We have wild turkeys here at times. Right now though it is Turkey hunting season so probably won't see them till after that. I swear they hide when it is time for that!

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  21. I'll bet she would love your type of garden best. So I think you should adopt her. :-)

    We used to live close to an old house/restaurant that had peacocks. Yes, they made lots of noise but we were just far enough away to where it was actually enjoyable.

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  22. She is a beauty. Poor little lonely thing. I hope that she survives.

    The first night we moved into our new house years ago, the neighbors had peacocks. The screaming sounded so much like a woman in distress, we wanted to move back that night. We finally got used to it, but those first few weeks were rather sleepless.

    Jen

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  23. This is so cool. I would love to have a visitor like this. Actually, I have a re-occuring dream that some sort of bird such as this would make my garden their home. And they eat bugs, an added bonus. H.

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  24. Hi Gail.......Poor peahen.....she seems very lonely. I had an escapee in my garden a few years ago....she was a very beautiful pure white.....sadly she was killed by the local fox......

    A lovely capture in your garden.....

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  25. Such a beautiful bird! I hope she finds some friends and good home. She looks scared by herself.

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  26. But how exciting! I would love to have a peacock or peahen in my garden - sounds awfully exotic to me! I wouldn't allow them to mess about, though... ; )

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  27. WTH?! LOL! Interesting facts, I had no idea about the roosting, etc., Gosh, what will happen to it in the winter? It is quite impressive that it's lasted this long, a testament to its intelligence and adaptability. I do wonder how it has been surviving, perhaps like any other stray pet. I wonder what kind of slang names are out there for the neighborhood peafowl?

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  28. Meems has been just shy of murder with the peacocks in her yard for sure..I think this is neat, (in your yard)

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  29. I had a pair of peacocks at my old farm home on my property. I loved their sounds and they are excellent
    watchdogs - letting you know if anyone is near. Only bad experience - I shut my garage door one evening not realizing they were inside. Oh my, you should have seen my car the next morning.
    Gail, I love my new cottage at the edge of the woods. I am home!!

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  30. Well Gail it is great you went back in to get your camera! What a beauty. I know you must have felt so happy to capture these wonderful portraits! Good to learn more about the peacock too. I know they can be quite vociferous as a group. Carol

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  31. "Garden of benign neglect" - what a delicious turn of phrase. A few miles from here they breed peacocks and hens and sell them - in pairs I think - but they are so noisy! A nice romantic idea, but for the racket. Plus, like you, I'd worry about the coyotes. The only surprising critter we get is an escaped beagle who dashes in through the dog door and scarfs up all the kibble in the dog dish!

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  32. Hi Gail, what a lovely visitor. I agree you should adopt it. Just think of the possibly of not only it eating the varmints in you garden but maybe have fresh eggs. The best part---having fertilizer delivered. LOL

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  33. What a cool visitor, albeit rather random! I couldn't imagine just having a peacock (or peahan) hanging around. I hope she finds a safe spot!

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  34. I must admit that I did think about opening that gate for a few minutes...and might very well had if we weren't going to have a very big dog come visit us soon! I plan to see what the Human Society has to say about rescuing a peahen! gail

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  35. My hubby has wanted one for years! He thought it would go good with a camel...hmmm nothing goes well with a camel!

    I hope she find shelter before the winter winds blow in. She really is beautiful! Kim

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  36. Kim, If only I could she would be on her way to keep Gizmo company!
    Gail

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  37. How beautiful your visitor is Gail. I don't think I'd mind her wandering into my garden. She wouldn't find many bugs this time of year tho. I hope she survives ~ sounds like she's already adopted your neighbors. Maybe you could let her sleep there and still reap the rewards of her bug eating during the day?

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  38. Goodness, I'd not heard about peahens (or peacocks) poking around neighborhood gardens before!

    Although fun, it does sound like they can be pesky, too (related to Randy's comment). At least they eat insects and grass seeds (sounds quite benign...)

    Cheers,
    Lisa

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  39. Gail,
    One of your posts has been hijacked by some bogus web site, click below.

    http://www.furniturecustommade.com/stories/fairegarden-style

    Les

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  40. Thanks, Les! I see they've hijacked several other gardenbloggers! How did you discover that? gail

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  41. Gail - Thanks so much for visiting my blog and your sweet comment about my article. I am looking forward to visiting your beautiful blog and corner of the world often!

    Tracey

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  42. Gail - Thanks so much for visiting my blog and your sweet comment about my article. I am looking forward to visiting your beautiful blog and corner of the world often!

    Tracey

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  43. Hi Gail~
    How interesting! I wonder how long the peahen will stay in your area, and if it will survive winter? It really is a gorgeous looking bird.
    Happy Thanksgiving!!

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  44. I can't remember which blog I was on, but someone left a comment regarding plagerism and that bogus web site. So I checked it out and recognized your post.

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  45. Les, Thanks and I've notified a few others whose blogs I've seen. gail

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  46. When I lived in the country my neighbor had peafowl. They got in the habit of flying up on our roof and screeching us awake in the morning! I never had any problems with them in the garden, they seemed to prefer eating bugs to plants.

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  47. Yours is the first one I've ever seen. I'm afraid it would never last in my yard with all the dogs and cats we have around here. I think it's pretty. Kinda hard to think of it right now as anything other than yummy since my turkey is cooking and the aroma is smelling delicious.

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  48. Hi Gail...here's a link to some peahen pictures from Austin...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/momwizard/sets/72157619696228310/

    xxoo Lynn

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  49. What a familiar site your pea hen is... only add a few friends trailing along with very long male feathers.

    I can imagine your surprise when you heard the rustling.

    A lone peahen is fine until they find a peacock and then... the family begins. GRRR... Can you believe our neighbor has acquired two more pea hens (thinking without the male everything would be alright)! It just doesn't make any sense. She lets them roam free, too. The rest of us are not so happy about it. So the peacock saga continues and now trails all the way to TN. :-)
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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