On the road with Stanley, the lovelorn peacock

Peacock 2 Stacy G


This is not a news story, at least not in the traditional sense. Rather, it’s a story about a peacock on Guard Hill Road looking for romance. Stanley, a male peafowl who is the pet of Dr. Michael Finkelstein, has of late become quite the celebrity. For the past three weeks the bird has been sighted numerous times on Guard Hill Road, and beguiling images of him exhibiting his amazing plumage have popped up all over Facebook.

Stanley the peacock (and he is definitely a guy. Lady birds of the same species are referred to as peahens; together they are known as peafowl) is a species of flying bird in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family. Peafowl in this country are either of Indian and Sri Lankan or Javan and Myanmaran stock. Peafowl are best known for the male’s extravagant eye-spotted tail feathers, which are displayed during courtship. As one of the most lavish adornments of any creature on earth, peacock tail feathers, or coverts, as they are rightly called, spread out in a distinctive train of over 60 percent of the bird’s body length. The colorful “eye” markings in blue, gold, red and other hues are nearly kaleidoscopic to behold. During courtship, the male bird’s large train arches into a magnificent fan spanning across the bird’s back and touching the ground on either side. It is believed the lady birds select their mates according to the size, color and quality of these plumes.

Dr. Michael Finkelstein has owned Stanley for about eight years. “I got him and a peahen to add beauty to my backyard,” he said Tuesday morning. “He’s living art.”

Dr. Finkelstein said Stanley is about 10 years old. When he acquired the bird eight years ago, he also bought a peahen.  Read more >