Photo: Palawan peacock pheasant
February 4, 2008
Photo take Feb 4, 2008 by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS.
NYC’s Fashion Week extravaganza has nothing on some amazing colors that are on the “runway” models at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo headquarters. “Palooka”, the Bronx Zoo’s male Palawan peacock pheasant is showing off his most brilliant blue feathers this season – a sure ringer for the forecasted fall color line-up.
A native of the Central Philippine Island of Palawan, it is considered to be the most beautiful of the peacock species. Males have a long metallic blue crest with white lines above and below the eye. The head, under parts, and flight feathers are black, while the mantle and wing coverts are metallic blue with purple reflections. The male bird’s coloration also serves to attract a female. With two to three spurs on each leg, Palawan peacock pheasants are known to be good fighters with very useful “footwear”.
An endangered species because of limited range and declining habitat, the Palawan peacock pheasant’s population is estimated at less than 10,000 as a result of the bird trade and subsistence hunting.
Palooka and some of the other very fashion-conscious wildlife can be seen everyday at the Bronx Zoo. Visit bronxzoo.com for more wild information.