Saturday, September 10, 2016

Etiquette for the Birds?

Many people have often laughed at the curious etiquette noticeable in the behavior of bees toward their Queen. But the peafowl etiquette in introducing young chicks to their owner is at least as curious.
Birds of a Feather, Mind Their Manners Together


The Hen's Formal Introduction of Her Brood to the World

For bringing up their families peahens are a model to every other feathered fowl in existence. The nest is usually made of a quantity of dry sticks, and when fairly set, and on it, the difficulty is to find out where the hen is. (So beautifully does the ash gray plumage assimilate with the surroundings that it is often possible to tumble over the nest before recognizing it.) In this nest are laid from three to four, large, whitish eggs about the size of those laid by the common domestic goose.

When the chicks are hatched out, they are the most delightful little brown birds imaginable. The color is a rich deep brown, and they much resemble young pheasants both in size and in coloring. Many people have often laughed at the curious etiquette noticeable in the behavior of bees toward their Queen. But the peafowl etiquette in introducing young chicks to their owner is at least as curious. As soon as the chicks are able to walk the mother marshals them in a procession, and, leading herself, she stalks to the place where she and the others are generally fed. Having formally introduced her brood, she takes them back to the nest, and they are not seen any more for some weeks. The hen will come and be fed, but the chicks are supposed to remain in retreat until they are grown to the size of spring chickens, when they come out and join the rest of tho fowls and learn to feed for themselves.— Country Home, 1911


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