Some time ago, a friend of mine won a marvelous raffle prize - a private day with Mary and Mollie from Awake the Light Photo Tours. The arrangements were made, location and time selected, and three of us made the drive to North Carolina to meet Mary and Mollie at Sylvan Heights Bird Park. It's a wonderful location for bird photography and very welcoming to photographers. Many birds are in open aviaries, allowing us to be much closer to the birds than we might be in a natural environment. I've not done much bird photography - I don't really have the patience or the equipment to do it well. So this was a fun opportunity to practice, in addition to seeing quite a range of birds.
After lunch, we split up, working on different shots. Earlier in the day, we had walked by the peacock enclosure and I'd been disappointed to see that they were in cages - getting a good shot would be difficult with the wires. But when I saw his feathers spread, I had to try. I had no idea then what I was in store for.
Our visit happened to coincide with the beginning of breeding season - the birds beginning to take on breeding plumage, practicing breeding behaviors. This poor fellow was trying to get the attention of the female in the enclosure. He rattled his feathers, he turned slowly in a full circle a few times to show himself off in his entirety, he stamped his feet in the dirt. She completely ignored him. After a few minutes, he gave up. I imagine (and hope) that he's had more success since - they were the only two peacocks in the enclosure.