I recently spent a morning at Greenhill School in Addison, Texas to take pictures of the elegant peacocks that live on their campus. These peacocks have run free on the campus for many generations. While the official mascot of Greenhill is the hornet, the campus treats the peacocks as unofficial mascots of the school.
The springtime weather makes photographic opportunities with the peacocks a rather tenuous situation. If the wind is howling in from the plains the peacocks have a hard time displaying their train feathers. Yet they are in the middle of mating season and the hens are walking about. In fact, it is quite surprising how loud a peacock call is.
I visited the campus on a windy day, concerned that the peacocks would not display their tail feathers. Luckily, the peacock that I managed to find was cruising around in between two buildings and was fairly protected from the wind. The peahens continued walking about and fortunately a class change poured hundreds of students into their area. The students are very respectful of the peacocks and they receive constant human interaction, but peacocks still like to avoid contact when possible.
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The class change resulted in the hens walking right by a peacock. When he saw the peahens, he let out a cry and started doing the mating dance that peacocks are so famous for. Contrary to popular belief, peacocks don’t just stand still when they are displaying. There is dancing, shaking, shimmering, head movement and a 360 degree slow turn involved with the full extension of his feathers.
The results of the dance speak for themselves.