Photographing the natural beauty Southern California offers is such a joy. But besides its beaches, mountains, and deserts, it's also home to an amazing array of wildlife and plants. I'm very blessed to have peacocks/peafowl visiting my yard every day!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Probably no babies this year; where are the peacocks?

As May approached I happily anticipated the annual parade of mother peahens and their new little chicks. Looking back at photos from previous years, I knew that this parade typically starts right at mid-May. So by the second week of May I had taken up my usual spot for peacock chick watching at my patio table, my Nikon D5100 at the ready, just waiting to start snapping pic after pic of adorable peacock babies.

I waited. And waited. Mid-May came and went. May ended. No chicks. June arrived. No pea chicks. June 5th, 10th, 15th passed...but not a single baby peacock. What the heck was up?!

The world famous Los Angeles Arboretum is only a mile from my house. It's where the peafowl population in my area originated early in the last century. I finally decided to give them a call to see if they knew of any reason for the dearth of peafowl chicks this year. To my surprise, they were not the least bit surprised. Turns out there's nothing to be alarmed about--it's just a natural cycle.

Apparently, when there's a very large number of chicks one season--as we had last spring/summer--there may be few to no chicks the following season. The folks at the Arboretum had seen a total of three babies, all of which were spotted well into June.

As I write this it's June 20th and I have yet to see even one pea chick. It's sad, but at least I know there's nothing wrong, such as a disease, to account for the lack of babies this year.

I won't give up all hope until summer is over, because there's still the chance...the slight, remote chance, that a few babies will arrive. If that should happen, I'll definitely post photos!

Meanwhile, enjoy these pictures of a family from this time last year:

Peafowl family, 2012
Peafowl family, 2012

Peafowl family, 2012

Peafowl family, 2012


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