The voices of daybreak around Hoe & Shovel are typically dominant with high-pitched screeching of many red-shouldered hawks flying about searching for breakfast in and out of the tall cypress trees. Often we hear the rich, loud, rattling call of the sandhill cranes as they fly over to nearby water areas for their morning hunt.
Yesterday's dawning brought the same welcome voices only with the addition of a loud honking sound. Before the bevy of peafowl were spotted in the back yard they were heard. First, at a distance but I could tell they were not too far away in the neighborhood. One of their calls sounds like a quickly tooting horn. I don't know how else to describe it but it is unmistakable. They have many noises and calls. All of which are undeniably loud and unique.
Peafowl are the largest members of the pheasant family.
Hearing the sound of a peacock is kind of familiar. Not too long ago, there was a peacock that lived across the street for a while. He would sit atop the neighbor's roof and toot his horn often as well as cry out his mating call. I liked hearing it but I must admit I often commented to hubby how glad I was that it wasn't sitting on our roof all night. They wake up really early... much like a rooster letting the whole world know it's time to get up. That particular one hasn't been there for several months now.
My camera was nearby when I spotted a group of peafowl strutting along the foliage behind our screened lanai. I attempted to get around them in order to photograph them but they were not keen on my stalking ways and fastly scurried over to the next yard. It was nearly impossible to get a good photo. I took lots of bad ones.
The male peacock that used to live across the street was prone to occasionally wander over here and take a little perusal through my yard without too much harm. Sometimes his six-foot long tail feathers trailing behind in tight spots did more damage than what he ate. Yesterday there were five peahens and peacocks altogether. Although no males with the long tail feathers among them. It takes 3 years for them to develop the long regal feathers they are famous for. They are grub, snake, insect, small animal, flowers, and green grass eaters. I've read that they can mow down a garden in short order or leave it alone depending on their mood. They are mostly ground foraging birds as they are not great flyers.
After my chase for a decent photo I spent my day in the garden. I saw they wandered around next door for a while. Over the course of a couple of hours I heard them at a distance a couple of times. But I never saw them again and I haven't seen them or heard them today.
That doesn't mean they won't be back. They are probably living somewhere close by. Even though I don't really want them eating my flowers (too bad it isn't slugs only they eat - I'd be inviting them over for dinner) I am certainly intrigued by their size and magnificent coloring. Both males and females sport that regal crest upon their heads.
There were many more critters in the garden with me yesterday. I'll try to post some of them later.