John T. Willis

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Palawan Peacock-pheasant

The latest edition of the National Geographic [July 2010] features the Palawan Peacock-pheasant, Polyplectron napoleonis, the Napoleon Peacock-pheasant.

This beautiful bird is endemic to the humid forests of Palawan Island in the the southern part of the Philippine archipelago. The male has an erectile crest, a white stripe over the eyes and highly iridescent metallic green and black plumage. The tail feathers are decorated with large blue-green ocelli. The female has a dark brown plumage with a short crest and is whitish on the throat, cheeks and eyebrows.

The male struts around the female, holding a piece of food and bobbing up and down until she approaches, then drops the food and assumes a pose with his tail fully spread, one wing pointing up and the other touching the ground. He raises his crest and points it forward, holding his beak behind the cape formed by his raised neck and mantle feathers so that only his eyes are exposed. The couple seems to be in deep love.

The male is 16-20 inches long with a tail 6-10 inches long. The male weighs a little over 15 ounces, and the female a little over 11 ounces. Specialists estimate that the total number of these birds is less than 10,000, and thus is endangered. People hunt and capture this bird for trade.

I hope YOU appreciate the Palawan Peacock-pheasant. This is just another example of the marvelous works of God on earth. Hopefully the human race will respect and strive to preserve this and all of God's creatures. Above all else, I hope YOU will be in awe of the Creator and all he has done and continues to do.

Share YOUR experiences and ideas with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

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