Nature

Austin’s Mayfield Park Offers Wild Experience

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The simple, almost hidden entrance into Mayfield Park in northwest Austin gives no hint as to what waits for you inside. But on stepping out of your car, you could very well be greeted by a high-volume distinct “UMM-WHAH” that will leave little doubt that you’re about to enter an enchanted garden where peacocks roam free.

Birds of a Feather

Austin's Mayfield Park Offers Wild Experience

Photo: Marcy Stellfox

The India Blue peacock typically makes its home in India and Sri Lanka. And to be precise, the term peacock actually refers only to the male bird. Females are called peahens and the collective term for both males and females are peafowl. Humans have been fascinated by these magnificent birds for centuries.

Austin's Mayfield Park Offers Wild Experience

Photo: Marcy Stellfox

Two types of peacocks live on the Mayfield property — the India Blue and Black-Shouldered varieties. The Black-Shouldered peacock, thought to be a color mutation of the India Blue, looks similar to the India Blue except that they sport black iridescent shoulders. Black-Shouldered hens, however, are a very distinct white.

Home and Garden 

Austin's Mayfield Park Offers Wild Experience

Photo: Marcy Stellfox

Allison Mayfield, a former Railroad Commissioner and former Texas Secretary of State bought the house and surrounding 23 acres in 1909 as a vacation and summer home for his family. When his only child Mary married in 1922, she and her husband Milton Gutsch moved into the bungalow. During their time at the house, they planted gardens and built stone walls throughout the property. In 1935, friends gave the couple peafowl as Christmas gifts.

The couple improved and cared for the property adding additional birds and expanding the gardens over the more than 60 years they lived there. With Mary’s death in 1971, the property was donated to the city of Austin for use as a park.

The Legacy

Austin's Mayfield Park Offers Wild Experience
Photo: Marcy Stellfox

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