Tag Archives: Puerto Princesa City

The Peacocks of Baker’s Hill

Baker’s Hill is a popular stop on the City Tour of Puerto Princesa.

And the peacocks are its most popular attractions.

Peacocks are pheasants. National Geographic explains:

Peacocks are large, colorful pheasants (typically blue and green) known for their iridescent tails. These tail feathers, or coverts, spread out in a distinctive train that is more than 60 percent of the bird’s total body length and boast colorful “eye” markings of blue, gold, red, and other hues. The large train is used in mating rituals and courtship displays.

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

"It can be arched into a magnificent fan that reaches across the bird's back and touches the ground on either side."

Behavior

The males showed off their fans every few minutes. It began with a few seconds of heavy fluttering and then the fan was up in the air.

The males took turns. Occasionally two fans (from two males) would be on display. Most of the time however, only one fan was up in the air.

The display was for the females but the males held their fans up for several minutes at a time–even after the females had moved away.

Size

The birds are large. This diagram shows their relative size.

Peacock Man "Relative size"

Credit: National Geographic

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

Peacocks have large bodies.

Iridescence <ee-ree-des-ens>

The fan is the bird’s most eye-catching body part. When it was up and being displayed, the male would turn itself so that the female (who was the reason for the display) would see it at its largest.

As the male turned, the colors of the fan would change (because of the way the light caught the feathers). Here’s the same peacock from slightly different angles.

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

"Iridescence is the property of certain surfaces which appear to change color as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes. Iridescence is commonly seen in items such as soap bubbles, butterfly wings, and sea shells.

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

Same peacock, different angle.

Tail Feathers & Other Body Shots

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

The large train consists of the tail feathers of the bird.

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

Another view of the peacock's body

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

The peacock's head

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

Another view of the Peacock's plumage (i.e., the layer of feathers that cover a bird and the pattern, color, and arrangement of those feathers)

Females are believed to choose their mates according to the size, color, and quality of these outrageous feather trains.

The term “peacock” is commonly used to refer to birds of both sexes. Technically, only males are peacocks. Females are peahens, and together, they are called peafowl.

Peacock Peahen "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

A peacock (foreground) and its object of affection, a peahen.

Peacock Peahen "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

Peahens (left) and Peacock. There were at least five pairs in their aviary.

Peahen "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

A Peacock's obssession: the peahen!

The Back Side

Ever wonder how the other side looks?

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

The back view of a peacock's fan

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

The side view of a peacock's fan.

One final shot

Here’s to the peacock!

Peacock "Baker's Hill" Puerto Princesa Palawan

In all its glory!

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