Peafowl are in the pheasant family, Phasianidae, and are best known for the male’s resplendent blue, green and gold tail, which it displays in order to attract a mate and can reach up to 63 inches in length (160 centimeters). The females are generally brown and unimpressive in coloration, which makes them easily able to blend in to their surroundings and avoid predator detection as they incubate their eggs . Peafowl are ground-feeders that eat insects, plants, and small creatures and are native to Southern Asia. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks. There are several peacocks and peahens at Ardastra, and they breed every year. During the breeding season of January through May, visitors get to enjoy the courtship ritual of the males fanning their spectacular iridescent tails.

Lory Parrots

Lory parrots, also known as rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus), are small birds that are found in Asia and Australia. They are very attractive with their bright green, red and yellow feathers, and are highly social. Lory parrots are often found traveling in pairs but will occasionally fly within a flock, later coming together in pairs again. Their diet consists of the nectar of various flowers and soft fruits such as berries. These parrots are aggressive in their protection of their feeding and nesting areas, often chasing off larger and more powerful birds than themselves. At Ardastra Gardens the lories are a visitor favorite. During our feeding sessions, held three times a day, our guests are afforded the unique experience of entering the lory cage and feeding them apples by hand.

Caribbean Flamingoes

Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus) are a type of wading bird found in The Bahamas, the Caribbean and also Mexico and Cuba. However, The Bahamas has one of largest breeding populations, which is numbered at about 70,000 birds, on the island of Great Inagua. This may sound like a healthy population, however the species is still considered threatened because it has not fully recovered from severe over-hunting as a source of meat in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Flamingoes are known for their habit of standing on one leg and tuck the other in, and although it is not known exactly why they do this, it is speculated that it is a form of heat conservation, as they spend many hours wading in the water searching for food. Flamingoes are filter feeders, eating mostly brine shrimp and blue-green algae. In The Bahamas, the future of the flamingo is now bright as they are a fully protected species under Bahamian law and their natural habitat on Great Inagua is a national park. One of the main attractions at Ardastra Gardens is the Flamingo Encounter. The marching flamingo group come into the arena and, following the trainer commands, walk in sequence from one side to the other. Later, visitors are invited into the arena for a close encounter with the flamingoes as well as an opportunity to take photographs. Ardastra also has a breeding group of flamingoes, who begin their courtship in late summer; prepare their nesting site in the spring and begin laying eggs at the end of March.