Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weird Turkey

I’m so used to seeing Wild Turkey outside the house that I don’t normally react to their presence.  As I passed the window the other evening, I was brought up short by an image that screamed Weird Turkey.  A second look identified the oddity as a Peafowl.  Its presence wasn’t a total surprise.  I’d been hearing a distant Peafowl call for several days and on each occasion, the call came from a different direction.  I knew someone’s pet was on the loose.

That’s a nice little bunch of party toothpicks adorning the Peafowl’s head.  I’ve raised a lot of domesticated poultry, but I never got into exotic breeds.  Most of my stock was typical farmyard chickens and ducks, along with a few 4-H animals sent to live out their lives on the farm.  I was very careful to contain my birds so there was never any contact with wild species.  Transfer of disease between captive and wild flocks can be very serious, so I’m not thrilled to have a Peafowl as a guest.

The bird was waiting beneath the feeder when I came out the next morning.  The sight of a human with a bucket must have been a familiar sight.  The Peafowl waited while I poured a little corn on the ground in front of it.  I expected someone would show up looking for their lost bird, so I gave it a reason to wait around for its owner.

When I saw the spurs on the legs, I thought this must be a young male.  After talking with a couple of poultry guys (not to be confused with poltergeists) I learned that both sexes grew spurs and this was a female bird.  They also told me that females can be quite vocal and it could have been a female I heard.

It was easy to tell that this bird had been raised around humans.  Most wildlife doesn’t follow me around the yard after being fed.

Except for trips back to eat more corn, she stuck with me all morning. 

When two stray dogs charged through the yard, the peahen went to the roof.  She spent several hours up there, but was down and gone by late afternoon and I haven’t seen or heard her for three days.  I guess I can stop worrying about being overrun by a population of feral Peafowl.

A Camera Critters submission.


  1. Do they actually survive out in the wild winters there like the Turkeys do ?

    They don't cross breed with Turkeys do they ?

    What do I know anyway! LOL

  2. Peafowl are very difficult to domesticate. It isn't uncommon for them to fly off. They are beautiful birds, and I enjoy having mine around. I just wish I could let them free range, but for safety reasons, I can't.

  3. Cool looking turkey? I like the feather on its head. Great captures.

  4. What a pretty peahen. Our local aviary has a flock and we sometimes see them in yards here. They are always fun to watch.

  5. Hi Kevin. They can survive a cold winter, but most peafowl keepers provide some winter shelter. I think the only cross breeding you would find between peafowl and turkey would be in a scientist's laboratory.

    Hi Teresa. I know what you mean about keeping your birds safe. I would like to have let my poultry run free, but they wouldn't have lasted long that way.

    Thanks Eileen.

    Hi Pat. It acted much like a stray puppy. I could probably have picked it up and toted it around under my arm.

    Hi Judy. She was pretty. I hope she made her way back home.

  6. How strange that it was so domesticated- I wonder who it belonged to?

  7. Hi Terri. In this county there are always a few people trying their hand at raising Peafowl for the first time. It's possible that it traveled quite a ways before visiting here.