I wanted to bring a peacock to our #NatureDoodlewash hike today, but got to wondering what they looked like in flight. So tonight, we have a doodlewash of this flying peacock. Also, admittedly, this version actually fits in my sketchbook so that was also a bonus. Though peacocks can only fly a rather limited distance, when a predator approaches, these magnificent birds run like hell, hop a bit, and take off into the sky. Well, towards the sky, at least, as they can’t fly particularly high, but the effect is beautiful and strikingly different than the usual peacock pose.
Actually, only the males are called peacocks, the females are peahens, the babies are peachicks, and collectively they’re referred to as peafowl. The tail feathers the male uses to attract females with by being generally fabulous don’t actually start growing until around the age of three. During medieval times, these birds were considered a delicacy and after being plucked and prepared for the feast they were reassembled with their feathers for the final presentation. Though pretty, medieval Yelp reviews were not kind and said that the birds tasted horribly, were hard to digest and also criticized by physicians as “causing bad humors.”
Thankfully, these birds are not on the menu much anymore and we can simply enjoy their intricate beauty. Out of 200 tail feathers, around 150 will have that famous eye pattern. Apparently, this was an evolutionary trait that came about due to the preference of the ladies. Peahens are hot for those eyes, even though they’ve evolved and have been lost many times. I guess it just depends on the latest fad in peacock world. Luckily, eyes are currently still the “in” trait so we can enjoy their beauty as well. And if you’re lucky enough, you might even be able to see one fly.
Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month!