Whomever you come across in India, be it on the shores of Chennai, or around the narrow alleys of Chandi Chowk, or even deep within the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas, all will be able to recognise the peacock. Partly to do with why the peafowl is the national bird of India is that they can be seen all over the country, their presence is unavoidable. At Jawai, it’s no different. every corner you turn, five run off to the concealment of the prosopis juliflora, every hill you climb, ten frantically flap their wings in frightful flight, every valley you traverse, the unmistakable shrill cry of twenty resonates through the scrub. In short, peafowl are ubiquitous throughout the area. Although their colours and plumage are majestically magnificent, it isn’t a huge surprise to come across one while out on our drives…. well, until now.
Summer Visitors and Some Residents
In the second part of our series on birds, our blog this week looks high and low amongst the canopies and undergrowth of Ranthambhore’s forests in the peak of summer. May and June are invariably the hottest periods of the year in Ranthambhore and as many trees lose their leaves and the grasses shrivel and retreat in the heat, few creatures of the forest bother to stir unless they absolutely must. Not so with our feathered friends. Summertime sees an influx of some migratory birds to Ranthambhore who are currently here to escape the chill of the hills, from as far away as Central Asia. Other, residents – such as our male peafowl – develop such outrageously brilliant plumages, they forced Charles Darwin to splutter, “the sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me feel sick.”