Portrait of a Peacock

I love the colours of the peacock: the blues and greens shimmer in the light and show off the brilliant colours of nature. It is not often, though, that one comes across this male bird in all of its glory. On a beautiful summer’s day, I was lucky enough to witness this bird strutting in front of its audience: the disinterested female birds and the handful of tourists gathered in the courtyard at Ngwenya Glass Factory in Swaziland.

The tail plumage of the peacock. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

When I first saw this proud bird, his plumage was trailing behind him as he climbed the steps to higher ground. The feathers looked beautiful, and I wished that I could see them in full light.

Peacock sauntering in the yard. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

Once he had reached the top of the steps, the bird  sauntered along the edge of the courtyard. Had it been waiting for an audience? I snapped a picture without the expectation of seeing more of its plumage. The haughty way it held its head brought to my mind the carriage of emperors as they walked among their people. Suddenly the bird opened its feathers to show off its plumage. The tourists wandering in the courtyard stopped to look – and I was among them with my camera snapping pictures!

The peacock with its plumage on display. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

The peacock strutted around the courtyard. Who was he showing off for? The three or four peahens eating around the courtyard, or the admiring people gathered in the courtyard? He strutted, showing off his plumage for 10 minutes or so and giving everyone the photo opportunity that they were taking advantage of.

Peacock showing off his plumage. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

I took many pictures within that time frame (the blessing of a digital camera). I could not believe the sight in front of me: I had never yet see a peacock showing off such depth of colour. The peacock did not just strut, but waved its feathers in an attempt to get the attention of the peahens pecking around the courtyard.

The peacock waving its feathers to get attention. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

Even from behind, the peacock was a sight to see.

Back view of the peacock. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

This is one of my favourite shots: it shows off the colours of the plumage, as well as the width of the bird’s tail. I did not expect the span to be so large.

The peacock. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

The head shot I took shows off, I hope, the rich blues and greens that I saw that day.

Head shot of a peacock. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

The peacock is such a contrast to the female of the peafowl. And yet the peahen has a beauty of her own that distinguishes her from other birds.

The peahen. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

When the peacock folded his feathers, I was not disappointed – I had seen a sight unseen before; and had a few pictures to remind me of it.

Have you seen a peacock showing off its plumage?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

60 thoughts on “Portrait of a Peacock

    1. He really did – I could not believe it. Normally they show their feathers for a second and then they are gone. I think he was really trying to impress the female birds and they were not interested 🙂


  1. Great pictures. Love them. There’s nothing quite like a Peacock, is there? I think I’ll have to do a post soon on the wild peacock that used to visit our office garden and drove my poor dog, Litchi, quite insane. Used to fly in, terrorise the dog and strut around like it owned the place. Quite hilarious to watch.


      1. Oh yea, we took pictures and everything…i think i posted it with the poem. Miss Peacock…apparently it’s the male ones that show off…lol, didn’t know at the time i wrote the poem.


        1. Yes, it is the males that have that colourful plumage which they use to court the female. The peahen is as in the picture I took – a mixture of browns with a bit of colour on her neck.


  2. I was wondering where my peafowl went for a couple of days – they went to you. Brilliant photos! Oh Colline you would love it here – I have heaps of peafowl.


  3. I’ve never seen a peacock in ‘real life,’ but these pictures are the next best thing! You were definitely in the right place at the right time, and prepared. Absolutely gorgeous!


    1. When on holiday I always have my camera on hand. I think I should start carrying it when I am not on vacation too as I often miss out on photo opportunities.


  4. Colline, these pictures are like paintings. The feathers and features of the peacock are so fine and almost whimsical. The head is wonderful in its detail and color too. I really love these photographs. I can’t think of anywhere else that I’ve seen such superb shots of that bird!


    1. We were so lucky to catch him. We had visited twice before and never seen him showing off like this. He was preening in front of three peahens – and none were paying him any attention 🙂


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