Peacocks are one of the most beautiful creatures on earth. The presence of huge tails and distinctive patterns on feathers makes them more fascinating. Peacocks also have a very distinct eye pattern.
“Peacock” is a general term that refers to birds of both sexes. Technically, peacocks refer to male birds, and peahens refer to female birds; collectively, they are called peafowls.
Peahen’s crest works as a sensor that helps them evaluate the features of the peacock. Peacock can fight with cobra and prey on them. Before moving to the facts about peacocks, here is some information on this beautiful creature.
Peacock belongs to the pheasant family, which is native to Asia. The peafowl is also the popular name of this medium-sized, colorful bird.
The crested feathers on the peacock’s head, which gives a crown-like appearance, enhance these creatures’ beauty. The alluring blue appearance in the peacock’s head, neck, and breast is tempting.
The weight of male peacocks is around 4 to 6 kg, while 2.75 to 4 kg for females. The length of the peacock is about 6 to 7 feet, while peahens are about 3 to 3.5 feet long.
The group of peacocks is called “muster or party,” and the peacock’s family is known as “bevy.” The baby peafowl is called “peachicks.”
Peacocks possess unique anatomy, which makes them beautiful birds. Peacock is a national bird of India and has many cultural values.
There are three species of peacock, namely the Blue peacock, Green peacock, and African Congo peacock. Two of these originate in Asia, and the other is of African descent.
Indian or blue and green peafowl are from Asia, whereas the African species called the Congo peafowl is originated in the Congo Basin.
The ground-living birds, which include pheasants, partridges, junglefowl, chicken, turkeys, Old World quail, and peafowl fall under the family “Phasianidae.” Many popular game birds are included in this family.
Peacocks are generally ground-dwelling birds and are commonly found in farmlands and forests. These birds first lived within forests and rainforests, which remains their most comfortable and natural habitat.
The population of the peacock is declining due to habitat loss and hunting. While peacocks are not considered an endangered species, the Congo peafowl, in particular, has been listed as vulnerable.
Along with the neck, the feathers are more enchanting when in full plumage. The design and the pattern of color in the feather vary across the different species and between different sexes.
Here are some interesting facts about peacocks:
1. Only male peafowls have ornamental feathers
Beautiful and colorful tails are characteristic of male peafowl. On the other hand, the feathers of female peafowl are somewhat brown or grey. The colors on the feather are the remarkable difference among peafowl.
The large train is used in mating rituals. Tail feathers have eye-like spots surrounded by green, blue feathers. A peacock can flaunt up to 200 feathers on its tail at a time.
Many of us are unaware of these facts about peacocks where males are only capable of beautiful feathers.
2. The largest flying birds
Despite their heavyweight and long train, the peacock manages to fly. But they only cover short distances. Generally, peacocks fly to escape from predators or for their night roost.
Since peacocks are ground-dwelling birds, they prefer running to flying. Peacocks can also run at a 16 km/hr speed, which is pretty fast than other terrestrial birds.
These birds weigh between 8-13 pounds and are almost five feet long from head to tail. Only the tail makes up 60% of the peacock’s total body length.
Being one of the largest flying birds their ability to sprint is one of the amazing facts about peacocks.
3. Peacocks are not born with fancy feathers
Peacock feathers are called trains, and they are not born with fancy tail feathers. The feather development process starts after the age of three.
It is harder to distinguish the sex of the bird because they are nearly identical. Adult peacocks use the bright train to impress female fowls and attract as many females as possible.
A peacock shows their beautiful feathers mostly during spring, which is also the breeding season. They shed their train every year after the mating season.
4. Peacocks are omnivorous
Peacocks are omnivorous birds. They feed on fruits, seeds, flowers, leaves, insects, ants, butterflies, etc. Grains are the most common food of peacocks as they are ground-dwelling birds.
Peacocks are terrestrial feeders. Peacock also feeds on some amphibians and reptiles like a snake, lizard, etc.
Peacocks are also known for chasing snakes. Peacock fights with snakes, even with poisonous ones like cobra, and prey on young ones.
5. Peacocks have friendly behavior
Peacocks are social birds and like interacting with humans. The domesticated ones interact with humans pretty well. Peacocks also indulge in various games with each other, like chasing around.
Peacocks hate being alone, and they always go in groups that usually have 8-10 birds. They like to form a group of their kind, and outsiders are strictly prohibited. The social animal with intelligent instinct is one of the surprising facts about peacocks.
6. Peacocks make unpleasant sounds
Peacock has unpleasant screeching sounds and is often regarded as the loudest creature. Peacocks can make 11 different sounds.
During the monsoon, the frequency of their sounds increases and indicates the upcoming rainfall. When peacocks shake their tail, they make a low pitch sound that the human ear cannot perceive.
Peacocks make a loud noise when they feel threatened and during mating season to attract peahens.
7. Peacocks are polygamous
Peacocks are polygamous, which means the male fowls have more than one partner in the wild. They have a minimum of two and can have as many as 4/5 female partners.
Peacock usually forms a harem (a group of peafowls) which consists of 2-5 females. Due to this polygamous nature, the left-out peacock feels sad and is heartbroken.
8. Peacock has cultural values
In Christianity, the peacock represents everlasting life. According to Greek mythologies, the peacock is associated with some goddess. Peacock is a symbol of guardians for Babylonians.
The cultural aspect is one of the interesting facts about peacocks. Peacock is a national bird of India. In Hinduism, the peacock is co-related with Goddess Saraswati and is considered a sacred bird. Likewise, the Bengal tiger has also important cultural values which vary with tradition.
The circular spots on the tail symbolize the eyes of God. It also stands for knowledge, kindness, and compassion. People also believe that the white peacock is a bearer of eternal happiness.
9. Peacock’s mating process
Peacocks try to impress peahens when the breeding season comes each year. First, the peacock guards his territory and makes a loud noise to ward off other males.
The vibration or feather movements, shaking, and vocalizations are vital in the peahen’s decision-making. Peahens normally consider the color, size, and quality of feathers or trains.
According to researchers, it depends on the angle of the peacock’s tail feather than the size of the display that attracts peahen during courtship.
The display of the extreme art by the peacocks and the judgment from the peahens is one of the amazing facts about peacocks.
10. Crest on the head is the sensor for peahens
The appealing feathers are important features of this creature. At the same time, a floating crown-like crest is often overlooked present at the head of the peafowl.
In this case, both males and females have these long brush-like shaped feathers known as “crest.” For peacock, a decorative ornament, but the crest serves as a sensor for peahen.
When peacocks start to rattle their tails, the wave of pressure created by the rattling noise vibrates the crest of a watching female. The feather of the crest vibrates at the same frequency as the peacock’s tail.
The male peacocks have to rattle their tails 25 times per second to impress females. The crest of peafowl is considered important for mating as they sense it via crown sensor.
The amazing features of the crest are one of the interesting facts about peacocks for mating.
11. Reproduction in Peacocks
Peacock uses their sleek feathers to attract females, i.e., peahens. They also perform some kind of dance to fascinate females.
Most peafowls reach sexual maturity at age three. The male and female both have the reproductive organ known as a cloaca. The peafowl aligns their cloacas which transfer sperm from male to female, which travels up to the uterus to fertilize her egg.
Peahens lay around three to six eggs, usually between January and March. The females incubate the laid eggs, and young birds hatch in about 28 days.
Peahens are clever birds as they lay unfertilized eggs far away from their nest to distract the predators.
12. The Average Lifespan is 10-20 Years
Peacocks are domesticated throughout the world, and peacocks are an essential part of the zoo. The average lifespan of peacocks is 15 to 20 years in the wild.
Peacock can live up to 40-50 years when they are kept under captivity. One of the major reasons behind a shorter lifespan in the wild is predators like tigers, raccoons, wolves, dogs, etc.
13. All-White Peafowl Exists
Peafowl, which has all-white feathers, comes into existence through the process of selective breeding. However, the bird retains standard eye color along with leucism.
Genetic mutations cause loss of pigmentations. They lose the ability to create any colored pigment, which is known as leucism.
14. Peacocks are Domesticated
For more than 2,000 years, peacocks have been kept in captivity around the world. Peacock is an essential part of the zoo, as it attracts many peoples through its beauty.
The most common type of peafowl found in zoos and parks are the Indian peafowl. Peacocks are domesticated either for entertainment or religious purposes.
People also domesticate them for their ability to catch snakes.
15. Colors of a Feather
The colors of the feathers of the peacock are due to the presence of various crystalline structures. The microscopic crystal-like structures are responsible for the fluorescent colors of a peacock’s train.
The color of the peacock’s tail varies each time you look from a different angle. The color in the feathers is affected by two factors: pigments and the structure in the feather that interfere with incident light.
The feathers are combined with a complex structure of indentations and plate-like layers called micro-lamellae.
Depending on the view angle, these structures obtain light of certain wavelengths or scatter the reflected light showcasing the colorful feathers.
These structural colors are caused by light interference, which can be seen in insects like butterflies, moths, and immensely on the peacocks.
In conclusion, facts about peacocks include their flying capability and strength to fight with venomous snakes and many more. The colorful features of the peacock feathers and body are enchanting.