Great White Peacock of Morningside Heights

I love my NYC neighborhood.  Where else in Manhattan do the strange cries of peacocks echo through city streets?

Regal? Yes. Bright? Um...

Three gorgeous, pin-headed, tiara-wearing peacock boys freely strut their stuff through the grounds of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.  A recent stroll found the sole white peacock repeatedly displaying his astonishing tail to a green hedge.

The Great White Peacock of Morningside Heights spent a long time staring at, or into, the hedge.

Staring at the wall

I mean, a long time. As in minutes.

Getting a closer look.

But eventually, whether he found inspiration in the hedge or simply got bored, he began to display.


Swirling ...

Revolving ...

Let’s do that again.

Opening ...

Raising ...

Spreading ...

Swirling ...

Raising ...

Profile ...

Lowering ...

Furling ...

And we’re back to contemplating the hedge …

Whats in there?

Check back soon for a look at the colored peacock in action…

Explore posts in the same categories: 2011, April, Birds, In the City, Morningside Park, NYC Parks, Seasons, Spring, Wildlife/Natural History

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21 Comments on “Great White Peacock of Morningside Heights”

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  3. Flights Says:

    It’s amazing that these birds can be found in the city.

    Too bad we’ve driven away most native species, and have to replace them with other varieties.

    • The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine has had resident peacocks for decades. I hear that the current three males were a gift from the Bronx Zoo. The grounds are quite extensive and they wander freely throughout.

  4. Alan Barker Says:

    Beautiful, but if you’ve ever had to live with 23 of them (not white) roaming on your property they might not seem so romantic.

  5. Georgia Says:

    Great show!
    Have you bee watching the nesting pair of red-tailed hawks in the Village via web cam? At

  6. John Says:

    Mating, schmating. From the first image it looks to me like he knew he was being photographed. What’s the point in wearing a dress like that if you don’t get to show it OFF every once in a while?

  7. VCheatwood Says:

    I wonder if there’s a female in the hedge? It IS that time of year.

    • Vicki, I walked around that hedge to see what in the world he was staring at. Nothing! Nothing, nothing, nothing. St John’s has 3 male peacocks and no females. Maybe he was fantasizing. Or meditating. Or … well, there’s not a whole lot of cranium there…

  8. Wild_Bill Says:

    Certainly one of the most ornate birds anywhere! Beautiful, and perhaps a little cocky?

    Just read last weeks account of baby seal, and I’m pretty confident this was all within the normal range of behavior.

  9. Greg Ellison Says:

    That is a very lovely bird. I wouldn’t expect to see something like that in NYC.

    Thanks, Greg Ellison

  10. mthew Says:

    The call of these birds must be something. There’s an Indian peafowl in the Prospect Park zoo, and it’s cry haunts that side of the park.

  11. Charlotte Says:

    Great to see this dance of swirling white feathers; wonder what he’s looking at, perhaps the inside of his pin-headed mind…

  12. p hoey Says:

    Did you know that the writer Flannery O’Connor nurtured a whole colony of (bright-colored) peacocks and (less-flamboyant) peahens in her backyard?
    Photos are terrific, but what is in that hedge to merit such a display?

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