Peacock Plummage, a Spring Dance

Male peafowl, or peacocks, are famed for the elaborate displays that they create with their fanned feathers, using their dazzling plumage to attract and impress potential mates. It is part of a complex “dance” that also involves strutting and quaking, but despite common misconceptions, peacocks are actually incapable of spreading their tail feathers. It is the “train,” or lower-back feathers, that are fanned during the display. Peacocks have become so famous for their beautiful mating displays that they have spawned a number of sayings: “proud as a peacock,” “pretty as a peacock” and “strutting like a peacock” are all common references to their behavior. These fun facts relate to the number of peacocks that make their home on the grounds of Mayfield Park in west central Austin near Laguna Gloria Art Museum.

Photos by Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman

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