Indian Peacock (Peafowl)
The most recognizable peacock species, the Indian peacock is native to India, Sri Lanka and other parts of eastern Asia. The peacocks of the species display the famous tail plumage used in courting rituals and have bright, blue heads and crest colorings. The bright coloring and large tail feathers are used to attract peahens and size up against other peacocks. Indian peahens are a muted brown color with green or blue heads and smaller tail sections that serve as camouflage when caring for peachicks under bushes or foliage.
The Green peacock, also known as the Javanese peacock, is native to the Indonesian island of Java in southeast Asia. Green peacocks are similar to Indian peacocks in that they have large, brightly colored trains and use the feathers in courting rituals. The heads and crests of green peacocks are a deep green color rather than blue, making them distinguishable from Indian peacocks. Green peahens are also brightly colored with green hues that are only slightly more muted than their male counterparts, however, like Indian peahens, the green variety does not have a long train of tail feathers.
A relatively recent discovery, the Congo peacock is an African native that more closely resembles typical pheasants than their flashy peacock brethren. Absent of elongated, brightly colored trains and colored blue, the males are of small stature compared to other species. The peahens of the Congo are dappled green and brown, resembling young versions of green or Indian peacocks. Though not much is known about the endangered Congo peafowl, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums has set up a program to help preserve and maintain their habitat and populations.
Peafowl are best known for the male’s extravagant “tail” which is displayed as part of courtship. While this feature advanced the peafowl’s individual function of reproduction, it has also made the peafowl a well-known ornamental bird, bring delight to people. Ecologically, they provide a role as part of terrestrial food chains, consuming various invertebrates, small vertebrates, and plant matter, and being consumed by larger animals and predatory birds. In particular, the chicks and peahens are at risk when they nest on the ground but as adults their roosting in trees offers greater protection.
|Interesting Peacock Facts:|
|Male peafowl is called peacock while female is called peahen.|
|They are one of the largest flying birds. Their length (including tail) can reach 5 feet. They can weigh between 8-13 pounds.|
|They are omnivores (eat both plants and animals). They like to eat insects, arthropods, amphibians, flowers, seeds…|
|Their main predators are tigers, leopards, mongoose… When they sense a danger, they fly and hide in the trees. They spend nights on trees for the same reason.|
|Family of peafowl is called “bevy”.|
|Group of peafowl is called “party”.|
|Beautiful and colorful tails are characteristic only for the males.|
|Colors of the tail will look different every time you change the angle of looking because of the reflection of the light. Tail feathers have eye-like spots, surrounded with red, green, gold and red feathers.|
|Tail makes 60% of peacock’s total length.|
Peahen chooses its partner by the length, width and coloration of the tail.
|Peacocks are polygamous (mate with more than one female) and usually form a harem that consists of 2-5 females. Left alone peacocks are very sad and heart-broken.|
|Although very beautiful, peacocks produce unpleasant sounds.|
|Females lay 3-5 eggs. Young birds will hatch after 28 days.|
|One day old baby peafowl can walk, eat and drink without assistance.|
|Peafowl live up to 20 years both in the wild and in the captivity.|