Peacocks By Design

New York City’s three Cathedral peacocks have already begun their annual spring courtship displays in which they unfurl their insanely long, dazzling tail feathers, hold them up in a giant fan, and rotate slowly to enchant the ladies. Here is a video I took a few years ago of one of St John the Divine’s peacocks in fine form.

The boys will be displaying like this all spring and summer, but who do they hope to woo? The nearest peahen is several miles away at the Central Park Zoo or the Bronx Zoo (from which one of the pealadies briefly escaped in 2011).

Still the peacock boys display to anyone and no one.  Yesterday, the white peacock was showing his tail in front of the shed that serves as their roost, while one of the blue peacocks stood alone at the end of the steep driveway, just a few feet from Morningside Drive, with his tail in full sail.

Tails furled or unfurled, peacocks seem to have an innate design sense.

Here the white peacock displays a striking horizontal elegance.

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Down the driveway, his friend advocates for the power and beauty of the vertical.

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For more on the Cathedral peacocks, stay tuned. Or visit our archives.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2014, Birds, In the City, Peacocks, Seasons, Spring, Wildlife/Natural History, Winter

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4 Comments on “Peacocks By Design”

  1. p hoey Says:

    So beautiful, especially the white one, but with such a
    triumphantly raucous voice!

  2. Barbara Says:

    Always love the updates on the peacocks. When I was a little girl I first saw peacocks in a tiny wildlife zoo and refuge in one of Ontario’s provincial parks… I fell in love and have been that way ever since, so your stories and photos are so welcome Melissa. This one of the white peacock is particularly beautiful. Thanks as always for sharing your stories of wildlife in the big city.


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