Even without color, peafowl seems plenty proud

white-peacock

While not a “birder” in the formal sense of the word, I’m often fascinated by the beauty of feathered creatures. Given their striking variety of colors, extensive array of plumage and capacity to compose a seemingly endless arrangement of songs, it’s easy to be captivated.

Occasionally, one comes upon a bird that’s particularly breathtaking, such as the above, a white peahen seen last weekend in rural South Carolina.

After a bit of research, I came to the realization that the above was not an albino peafowl, but one with a condition called leucism, which results in an overall reduction in different types of pigment.

Peahen with normal coloring.

Peahen with normal coloring.

As a result, the bird had practically no coloration in its plumage but retained its normal eye color, rather than having red or pink eyes as an albino bird would have had.

In addition, white peafowl can mate to create white offspring.

The above bird was spotted on the edge of farm and, given the presence of innumerable predators in the area and the fact that an all-white creature would have little chance of blending in in the wild, there’s no question it was a domesticated creature.

Despite the lack of blues, browns and tans normally associated with peafowl, the bird in question still strutted around as though it were the most colorful creature in the county. Some characteristics can’t be bred out, one supposes.

White peafowl have to be somewhat rare; earlier this year, when a white peacock got loose in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, it caused a bit of a stir.

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2 thoughts on “Even without color, peafowl seems plenty proud

  1. Seeing the bird must have been a pleasant surprise for you. I once had a peacock run out in front of my car (I managed to avoid it, so we did not have split peacock soup that night) and could barely convince myself of what I’d seen. Turned out a nearby farm was breeding them. Thanks for the information about leucism; I’d always assumed the white birds were albino. Interesting post.

    • Thanks for stopping by. Peacocks are odd birds – apparently not all that friendly. And it was a pleasant surprise. It wasn’t until I saw the little tuft of plumage on top of its head that I was certain it was a peahen.

      I like the idea of “split peacock soup,” if the bird wouldn’t have.

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