Will the Walnut Creek peahen find love among the turkeys?

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DEAR JOAN: We have a peacock that lives in our neighborhood. Last year, his companion was unfortunately taken by a predator.

She was accepted into the Turkey Famz. Will she eventually find a companion with the turkeys or will she be alone for the rest of her life?

She is adorable, and my cat and my dog ​​are amused by her.

Lynda Nunn, Walnut Creek

DEAR LYNDA: She probably won’t take care of tom turkeys, but that doesn’t mean she’ll spend the rest of her life alone.

Peacocks are considered polygamous, with the male mating with several peacocks each season. In captivity, peacocks can form close pairs, but even in the monogamous world, if one partner dies, the other will take on a new mate in order to perpetuate the species.

Your peacock would certainly be willing to find a new mate, but no matter how impressive a turkey’s tail feathers are, they can’t compete with a peacock’s dramatic plumage.

That’s not to say birds don’t mix outside of their species, but it is rare. When this happens, it’s usually between two closely related species. A mallard might mate with another species of duck, but you wouldn’t see a mallard and a penguin mate. Turkeys and peacocks belong to the same family, but are not closely related.

In the instances where the two bumped feathers, it was because an excited peacock had no peacocks available to him, so he set his lustful gaze on a turkey.

Until the peahen meets another traveling peacock, she might find a measure of safety among the turkeys, who no doubt regard her as that flamboyant aunt who has come to visit, but won’t be moving out full time.

There are a number of wild colonies of peacocks – hens and toms that have escaped from their garden enclosures – throughout the Bay Area, so there’s hope for your lovely widow.

Mushroom Warning

Our recent abundance of rain means mushrooms are growing everywhere, and we need to keep an eye out for our pets.

While most mushrooms are harmless, there are some deadly ones, and mushroom experts say that to avoid accidental poisoning, we should treat them all as potentially deadly until they are positively identified.

Two of the most poisonous mushrooms in the world – Death’s Cap (Amanita phalloides) and Western Destroyer Angel (Amanita ocreata) – are found in the Bay Area during the rainy season.

East Bay Regional Park District Naturalist Trent Pearce, who documents and teaches fungi in the Bay Area, says both of these fungi are primarily associated with oak trees and grow where oak roots are present.

Symptoms may not appear for 12 hours, but if you suspect your pet has eaten a fungus, don’t wait for symptoms to appear – take them to a vet immediately.

Learn more about mushrooms and other mushrooms at the 6th Annual Tilden Virtual Mushroom Fair, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., January 29-30. The event will include presentations, cooking demonstrations and hundreds of mushroom specimens. The event is free and no registration is required. Programs will be broadcast on the East Bay Regional Park District Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Do you have a question for Jeanne?

Use this form to submit questions. Photos should be sent separately to [email protected]


An earlier version of this column included outdated information about the Tilden Mushroom Fair. The organizers have switched to the virtual 2-day program.

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