A Pea hen and her chick probably wondering where the food is!
Three possums and a Bennetts Wallaby all killed at the junction of Tamar Highway and Cormiston Rd last night. Someone took the trouble to pile these little bodies up for the council to remove before too many tourist start to complain!
On any level this mortality rate of our wild life is disgusting…
Photograph By V Ward
In the last peafowl breeding season twelve pea fowl chicks hatched. One female managed raise four chicks which turned out to be two males and two females. These are the fearsome four above, these four are now juvenile and still stick together marauding and searching out every food source they can find.
Some of the other females were less successful one raised three another pair two and one young small female only one chick which we found beheaded at the foot of a tree. Its abdomen was chewed into so I suspect it was a cat. Cats often go after its preys liver although I am sure other creatures have the same habit possums perhaps. I don’t know what happened to the other chick but there are only ten now. Recently one and perhaps two of the smaller and younger females have gone missing as has one older bird which was decidedly arthritic her leg joints were swollen and she hobbled around more slowly than the rest of the ‘ostentation’. Yes, that is the collective noun a number of peafowl.
Peafowl are supposed to live about fifteen years but I suspect that many never make it to old age due to the number of people that ignore the regulations and let their dogs run free in the park area. We have seen many people do this, they just let their dogs run the peafowls down. To date most have obviously escaped but it could explain the missing females. We even challenged the odd ignoramus when a terrified bird took off trying to get into a tree for its safety. One fool aged in his mid thirties even remarked its a bit of fun when my dog gets behind one of these things. There is a lot of ignorance about. I once spoke with a person who said the peacocks should not be in the gorge, this magical place should be restricted to native creatures and in many respects I agree but the peafowl have a long tradition in the park and no one could deny they are beautiful birds. They are now threatened species in India which is where the ancestors of these birds came from nine or ten generations ago. So I feel that these birds should stay and continue to add colour to the gorge native or not. In my daily walk along with the thousands of tourists that visit the gorge we all enjoy the peafowl and then remember them. And that is no bad thing…