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a tall tail (but not)

Last night I spent the evening on a farm up in the hills behind Waikanae. It was a restful break from all the planning of January.

Behind the house was a paddock with a donkey and a goose. The goose was flapping its wings, trying to entice the donkey to play. There was no action – donkey was not in the mood. I was told that, on other nights, the goose will jump on the donkeys back to get things really going!

And there, strutting around us was a male peafowl: a peacock. They were brought here from India & Sri Lanka, via England, from 1843 onwards.

This one was displaying its colours. Not the tail, which is actually small & dull brown. The spectacular shimmering train of feathers he displayed was actually greatly modified ‘coverts’, above the tail.

In Cloak of Protection the peafowl is a bird of the settlement. Its main predators are ferrets, humans, and kahu/harrier.

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