• 73°

Blue Boy proves he’s no featherweight

SALISBURY — You sometimes have to wonder whether Blue Boy really thinks he’s a turkey.

It has been four or five years now — Hugh and Judy Martin aren’t sure just how long — that they’ve been seeing a peacock in the wild around their tree farm off Poole Road.

Hugh remembers the day he first spotted “Blue Boy,” the name Judy came up with. He noticed a flock of turkeys walking near the woods in the distance, and Hugh swore one of them was a bit unusual.

He pulled out his binoculars for a closer look.

“I said, ‘My land, that’s a peacock,'” Hugh recalled. “I couldn’t believe it. There he was dragging his tail along.”

Surely, the Martins thought, this bird was once domesticated and ran away or was turned loose by his previous owner. As the weeks and months passed by, the Martins kept seeing the peacock on occasion.

“He runs with the wild turkeys,” Hugh said, still not quite believing it.

Over time, they have been able to get closer and closer to the bird, and now he’s almost one of the family.

“We saw him today,” Judy said early Monday evening. “We just got back from the farm. We hadn’t seen him in a couple of days.”

Judy has taken countless pictures of Blue Boy, whose body is definitely a study in blue like the famous Thomas Gainsborough painting from the 18th century. Judy even has a photo album dedicated to him.

“It’s her boy; she named him,” Hugh said, leafing through the album. “There’s a picture of him every day of the week, if you want them.”

But the Martins stress that Blue Boy continues to live in the wild on his own, despite his growing affection for the couple — and their food.

What proud peacock wouldn’t cozy up to the seeds, dried cherries and shelled peanuts Judy is constantly putting out for him? She sometimes picks up a special mix for Blue Boy at Tractor Supply.

Hugh said it has gotten to the point that Blue Boy hears his truck arriving at the tree farm, “and he comes a-running.” He knows it’s the food truck.

“He’s a character,” Hugh said. “We just about got him tamed. … He’ll come up right on my lap, nearly, but he doesn’t belong to us. We’ve just gotten to where we think he does.”

The Martins say other folks up and down Poole and Agner roads have seen the peacock, too.

“Some of the neighbors have said, ‘We fed him in our backyard,'” Judy said. “Everybody knows him. But you’ve got to be careful. He’s very leery.”

Last year, the Martins hadn’t seen Blue Boy for the longest time, until one day they were driving on Agner Road and spotted him proud as you know what in a field with a female turkey.

“He makes the damnedest noise,” Hugh said. “He’ll scare you to death. I guess it’s his mating call.”

As you might imagine, friends and family of the Martins also know about Blue Boy, and they often are asking the couple for peacock feathers. Hugh and Judy scour the woods for them and give them to people they know.

Judy has made a bouquet of peacock feathers for their dining room table. and she knows other feathers she gave away were used as decorations for a wedding in the mountains.

“When he loses his feathers,” Hugh says, “he looks like a turkey.”

Of course he does.

The Martins travel from their home in Salisbury about every day to the tree farm to feed one of their cats and replenish their feeders for birds and other animals.

Blue Boy has become a pretty regular visitor, and they’re just amazed he has lasted in the wild this long, still hanging out with the turkeys when he can.

Face it, Blue Boy must be able to talk turkey.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263 or mark.wneka@salisburypost.com.

 

Comments

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time