It is highly likely that Andrew, named for the Australian politician (Andrew Peacock!) was half of the original pair who first moved into the New Fortune Theatre in 1975! That would have made him at least 34 when he passed away in 2009. Sadly, it was not due to old age - he was the victim of a dog attack.
Ann was mother to most of the past and present UWA peafowl; i.e. she probably hatched Eddy, Alistair, Susan and Alex, and she definitely hatched young Vern. He was her last chick before she passed away. We believe that Ann's death was due to a combination of old age and being egg bound, which means that she was ready to lay eggs but one got stuck in the oviduct. The oviduct is the passage that the egg travels along. It's a common cause of death in female birds, especially older birds, and if we're correct about Ann, then she was the first hen to live at the Theatre which would have made her at least 36 when she died.
Sweet natured Alex was our only white bird. She was five or six years old when she passed away suddenly in November 2012. Animal Science kindly performed an autopsy for us since Alex was so young and otherwise healthy. She was egg bound (see above). Our beautiful girl was known for being a bit of a blonde at times! During the 'great' hail storm in early 2010 she was conked on the head with a hail stone but didn't seem to notice. She would trip over her own feet while climbing the stairs and would get startled at times when she stood on a person's foot and they suddenly moved it. She also tried to fly down to the stage once from the top floor and performed a spectacular face-plant. She was a favourite among many staff and students and to be honest, some people are still in mourning! Alex was a very quiet bird and only rarely let out a honk. She was happier to 'brrp' conversations with the caretakers. She never got the hang of nesting but she did lay a couple of eggs on the walkway, probably to her great surprise.
Edmund, or Eddy, was named after Sir Edmund Hillary as he was a prolific climber of high places. He became the oldest male in our flock after Andrew's passing and performed the role of Head of the Flock admirably! Eddy's favourite place to sit was the second floor walkway, right outside the door. That way he could loudly demand food whenever he was hungry and corner unsuspecting staff members when they dared to pass by him without leaving any treats. He was a bit fussy and preferred to eat from a soft, human hand rather than pecking food from the ground. His favourite food was banana and he was known to bypass the small pieces being handed to him in favour of grabbing the entire fruit and sprinting away with it. Sadly, our gorgeous boy died suddenly in May 2014.
Pretty Penny joined the UWA peafowl family in 2013. She appeared in a suburban backyard and no owner could be found, so we adopted her. She isn't very old, only a couple of years at most, and she's a very sociable girl. She spent a month living on a caretaker's verandah due to the lack of a cage on campus and made many attempts to get inside the house. She also figured out which door the food provider appeared at (there were four doors) and would head there as soon as she saw someone appear at the kitchen window. If the food was not forthcoming, Penny would then jump up onto the washing machine to give whomever was at the window the "peahen eye" which, to be fair, is a very pretty eye. Time was ticking by and she needed to be moved onto campus but there was still no cage, so as a compromise we closed the wrought iron gates which enclose the New Fortune Theatre, delivered Penny to campus and hoped for the best. She surprised us all and made no effort to leave! As far as we can tell, once she saw that she had new friends, gardens to forage in, plenty of food and some nice, high roosting areas, she figured that this place would do nicely. Penny loves green grapes and lettuce leaves.
Beautiful Susan was UWA born and bred. She was second in the peahen hierarchy until Ann passed away in early 2011, was the matriarch until her sudden death on 25 May 2017. Susan, Alex and Vern were a familiar trio, most commonly spotted standing around the vending machines on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday morning since the machines are close to the feed room. Not silly, these birds. Susan was not a fan of ravens so when they arrived to partake of the peafowls' grain or seeds, she chased them away. She was always happy to share with ducks and doves, though. Susan laid a clutch of eggs every season although there have been no new chicks since Vern was born. Susan was a good mother and she only left the nest once a day in order to stalk around the theatre, daring any predators to take her on. We will miss our beautiful girl.