Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I was going through my papers and came across notes from Peafowl, their conservation, breeding and management by T P Gardiner of the World Pheasant Association.

The antics and activities of peafowl provoke more enquiries to the offices of the World Pheasant Association than all other species of pheasant put together. It was this simple fact that highlighted the gap in current literature on the galliformes and prompted me to feel that WPA publications should seek to fill it. Who better to do the job than than the person who has answered most of the questions on peafowl for the WPA during the past 10 years.

Those who keep peafowl, ad I do, will now that they can cause embarrassment -- ours  have. At our home in southern England they decided that the roof of a new 200 bedroom hotel next door made a more interesting perch than our numerous trees. In Scotland where we have them roaming in the highland glens and breeding prolifically, an adult male decided that the windowsill of an elderly lady neighbour's bathroom was an excellent roosting place -- the lady in question insisted that it embarrassed her and demanded its removal.

I'm not sure if Tom Gardiner, for all his knowledge of peafowl, would have had any solution for my problems with peafowl, but I am sure that readers will find within these pages the answers to many queries concerning peafowl both in the wild and in captivity.

Keith Howman [I think - handwriting deteriorating at this point]

[Mr Gardiner than takes up the baton . . .]

At the time of writing this preface, books about peafowl are still surprisingly few . . .

Another perennial problem with peafowl is that of birds leaving their owner's property and wandering onto adjoining or even distant properties. It is probably true to say that the World Pheasant Association headquarter receives more calls about this problem than any other peafowl related subject.
There was naturally more, but you get the picture.  If I remember correctly, Gardiner points to a major problem with the ownership of peafowl: since the male of the species is the beauty, owners tend to like a large number of peacocks.  Once one has established itself as the dominant male over such peahens as are on offer, however, the other peacocks leave in hopes of finding unclaimed females in the neighbouring countryside.  (Hence, presumably, the fondness for roaming Highland glens.)

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