Yes I did strip the herl myself using an eraser on a board (Bleaching leaves them brittle, and paraffin wax is just too much messing around). Those eyes came from a supplier on eBay. Yes good eyes are hard to source. A friend had some left from the 1950's and they were nothing like what we have today. Almost twice as wide and much better marked. One of the few things that we don't have better quality today than then.
I believe it is the older birds that produce the better eyes. As less people eat peafowl today than ever before you would think older birds would be easy to come by. There is a small flock near here with an old alpha male bird. I know the land owner doesn't mind if it meets with an "accident". Maybe next summer I will have to have a late night trip up there. This peacock will not permit any of the others to grow a tail, the fights are quite ferocious. Got any good recipes for peafowl?
"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a ****
by the clean end"