Tuesday 28 January 2020

A Peacock Seen While Walking - Are Peacock's Feathers Lucky or Unlucky?


As you may have gathered from my blog posts I like to walk, wherever I am. You never know what you may see - even a peacock or two!

A peacock

My wife and I were walking along a normal sort of road, with average houses and in the front garden of one of the properties was a peacock. Most unexpected.

The bird was happily preening himself and didn't notice us at first.


When the peacock did spot us he seemed to get into a bit of a tiswas and his feathers seemed out of control

A peacock strutting about

Then came the full fan tail in all its glory, quite magnificent and enough to entice any passing peahen.

I don't know if the peacock actually lived in the modest garden, next to the garage door, as seen in the photos. Perhaps he was also on a walk and felt like a short break.

Peacock in full colour

It's a strange old world. Straight away I thought of my mother, who is no longer with us.

I remembered how as a boy of six or seven she took me to London Zoo. We lived with my father in west London at the time.

Having always loved animals it was a great day out. At the zoo we saw peacocks and a couple of feathers were on the ground but out of reach. I so wanted one of those feathers. One of the zoo keepers was nearby and my mother asked if we could have one of the feathers.

He said he wasn't supposed to let anyone have them but he still wrapped one in some brown paper and gave it to me. I was so excited.

I took the feather home but my father said that peacock feathers are unlucky and he didn't want it indoors. I didn't fully understand this but, being an only child, I did get my way and the feather was placed by the living room mirror.

The feather
remained there for a while and then, suddenly, it was gone. I presumed some sort of magic must have happened.

I have read that peacock feathers are deemed as being unlucky in England because the feather represents the evil eye - so the devil is watching.

In many countries though, the feather is believed to be sacred. In some Buddhist ceremonies they represent purity. As in life, it's up to us what we want to believe.

Peacock feathers

I also saw the peacock below when we ventured into deepest Devon. He was in the garden of a restaurant along with two peahens.

Peacock walking


  1. Very interesting post, as usual, with well researched background info. You were fortunate to get a full display; did it rustle it's feathers too?

    1. Hello David, thanks. Yes the peacock did rustle his feathers when he first noticed us. There is another photo where his feathers have almost disappeared and just lots of spines remain. Most odd.

      Could do with some good weather, so much rain.

  2. So elegant! I've always heard the feathers are lucky! Do you think he's a pet? Or do they just wander around freely?

    1. We only saw the peacock the once, it was very surreal as they don't normally wander freely. Generally in England it seems people think the feathers are unlucky.

  3. Replies
    1. Many thanks Amanda - the wonder of walking!

  4. What a treat to be able to photograph the beautiful peacock! My mother in law always kept a large glass vase full of wonderful peacock feathers from her childhood I believe. I wish I had asked her about them before it was too late. Your childhood story is a great one and I bet that feather seemed precious. Seems that feathers are a source of many interesting legends and facts. In the US it is illegal to keep an eagle feather one might find and the penalty for doing so is very significant. The exception is when a Native American is granted a permit for having the feathers. They are of course significant to native ceremony and culture. Very interesting post, Mike. Thank you. I’m reminded of your white feather posts as well.

    1. Thanks Ann for your interesting comment - fascinating to hear about the eagle feathers. I still see the occasional white feather at significant times or places. We were so surprised to see the peacock in such an unusual situation.



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