fine feathers: the white peacock

The peacock is one of the most fascinating feathered friends we have. One of the coolest things about them is that their mesmerizing feathers always seem like they're changing colors, but not this one. The white peacock stuns on a whole other level: 1. The white peacock is a genetic variant of the indian blue peafowl – the most common kind of peacock – so even though they're often referred to as albino, they're not at all. For example, albino birds have a complete lack of color and red or pink eyes, but the white peacock still has its baby blues.

2. Peacock refers to the male, while females are called peahens and peafowl covers both sexes. Our white peafowl is actually born yellow, becoming white as it matures – unless the white peacock is bred to a white peahen.

3. Mating to different colored birds produces a wide variety of color patterns in the white peacock. The first, of course, is all white, but there's also the pied white (the combination of white and the usual indian blue colors), the back shoulder pied (indian blue colors except for white under parts, wings and a single spot under the chin) and the blackshoulder peahen (essentially the really neat dalmatian peacock – white with black spots).

4. The white peacock is rarely found in the wild since any patches of white make the bird more visible to predators. It's theorized it's the safety of captivity that actually made their recessive coloration genes emerge.

5. In a general sense, the peacock is a symbol of nobility, guidance, beauty and fidelity, but the white peacock is thought to be part of an ancient order of shamans descended from Venus. In this sense, they're regarded as protectors.