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Meet Grigsby and Emily!

As the weather gets warmer and the Zoo gets busier, there are lots of changes happening at Zoo Atlanta. Some of these changes include moving birds between habitats and even bringing in new birds. If you have visited the Zoo recently, you probably noticed the newest additions to our bird population, a pair of Indian peafowl. Peafowl are a species of pheasant, and are known for their extravagant plumage, characteristic tail feathers, and their loud calls.

The new peafowl are named Grigsby and Emily, in honor of a very dear Zoo supporter. Emily is the female, also called a peahen. Grigsby is the male, also typically called a peacock. Now, immediately you’ll notice that he is different from other peacocks due to his all-white plumage vs. the typical blue and green colors. This is because he has a condition called leucism, which means that his feathers have lost pigmentation resulting in the white color. However, he is not an albino.

Grigsby and Emily came to us from Baton Rouge Zoo in Louisiana. A few bird care team members, including me, took a road trip through Alabama and Mississippi to pick up them up. It was quite a sight to see with four of us, two peafowl (especially Grigsby with his extremely long tail), and our luggage packed up in the car! The birds had plenty of room. The humans in the backseat had very little. Birds come first in our department! While we were there, we learned that Grigsby was a bit of a local celebrity in Baton Rouge, and many of the zoo staff there shared memories they had of him with us. We are so excited to have both of them here at Zoo Atlanta, and it seems that our guests are too.

Come see Grigsby and Emily in their new home across from the wetlands, near the Outback Station petting zoo. You may catch a glimpse of Grigsby displaying that large snow-white tail of his, or hear his call from all over the Zoo. Be sure to bring your camera! Either way you’ll know you’ve arrived by the crowd that always gathers in front of the habitat when he is displaying!
Amanda Johnson
Intern, Birds

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