An Unusual Sighting on St. John … Or Was It?

A female peacock or peahen

St. John is undoubtedly one of the top destinations for nature lovers. The island is home to an abundance of flora and fauna, as well as an exciting underwater world. But did you know that St. John is also the home of at least one family of peacocks? How about the home of a white peacock? Well neither did I, until recently.

For years, I’ve heard the stories about the flock of peacocks (which is technically called a muster or ostentation) near Frank Bay. Although I’ve yet to be lucky enough to see one for myself, many people have reported the sightings including Karye Carney of Sold on St. John. She saw one this past July and posted a picture over on her blog. Check it out:

peacock sold on st john
Image credit: Karye Carney

I was driving up Bordeaux Mountain Road recently when I came across a rather large white bird. It was a very cool, unique looking thing, so I grabbed my camera and hopped out of the Jeep. The bird was about a foot or so tall and had a head crest just like a peacock. It wasn’t too pleased by my paparazzi antics and started to make an interesting noise. I got it on video (albeit a very shaky video, but it’s there.) Check it out:

So I did a bit of research and I’m about 99% sure that this bird is indeed a white peacock. Here are a few quick peacock facts:

  • Those beautiful blue peacocks that we typically see in zoos, they’re males.
  • Female peacocks, or peahens, have brown and green feathers. Females do not have a long train, only males do.
  • A male’s train can grow up to six feet in length.
  • Baby peacocks are called peachicks.
  • When referring to the species as a whole, they’re referred to as peafowl, not peacocks. (We prefer peacocks, so we’re going to stick with that.)

Here is a closer look at the head crest on the one I encountered. (Notice that she is about to yell at me…)

peacock 2

So now I am looking to you, my bird-loving, nature friends. Do you think this is indeed a white peacock? Also, if you have any peacock pictures taken on the island, please send them over to me at [email protected], and we’ll post them.

11 thoughts on “An Unusual Sighting on St. John … Or Was It?”

  1. Not to split hairs (or feathers) actually she’s not white, the peahen is a black shoulder hen. The male black shoulder peacock has the blue head but black wing coverlets, but the girls are mainly white with black/brown markings. A true white peafowl (male or female) is completely white. They definitely make a variety of interesting sounds-not pleasing to everyone. We have peafowl here in IL-one thing I do miss while in the islands is the sounds of my birds starting their day.

  2. I raise peafowl (blues) and would be more than happy to donate those I have to your beautiful island. They would be much happier in your climate 🙂
    Hmmmmm any yachts coming your way from Lake Erie?
    Oh…I would have to sail along to take care of them 😉

  3. LD is correct. We used to have a pair of pure white peafowl. The male has a beautiful white tail. Males are peacocks, females are peahens, and together they are peafowl. If you would like to see some on the island go down the road past the Gallows Point all the way to the end.

  4. There are a number of peacock that hang around the area near P&P By The Sea, at the end of the road past Gallows. They are always walking around when we go eat with Patricia.

  5. So cool! My husband and I saw a male, the pretty blue color. He was walking down the hill in St Thomas on his way to Havensite. I had to do a double take as I thought they only were found in Zoo’s. How awesome. The islands never cease to amaze me with the creatures on land and in the sea.

    Thank you for the pics!

    • the frank bay pea cocks belong to the eddie moorehead family on the point past frank bay; otherwise known as Moorehead Point…
      there were peacocks also, back in the 1950’s-1960’s, in miss meada’s “YARD”, back behind where SPARKY’S used to be at the back of the park across from the cruz bay dock in the 70’s…….
      out above MAHO BAY, Ethyl McCully had peacocks where the red roofs used to be… maybe they’re still there….the red roofs and the peacocks……..

  6. In 2000, we made our first trip to St. John and stayed at Lavender Hill. There were peacocks all over the property!! They were very noisy – annoying is more like it. Since then, we have returned almost every year….I was wondering, last spring, if they were still around.

  7. Just a small historical note. In the 1950’s, Ethyl McCulley (author of “Grandma Raised the Roof”, built her home “Island Fancy” located uphill in Franis Bay near the old Maho Bay Campgounds. This property is now owned by the NPS. She had peacocks running freely around her Villa as pets. It would stand to reason that the peacocks sighted in Francis Bay are probably decendants of her pets.

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