Congo Peafowl

ANIMAL:
Congo Peafowl Afropavo congensis

Type of Animal:
Gamebird

Habitat:
Primary/secondary lowland forest, low hills/ridges between watersheds, dry forests w/ open floor on watersheds

Location(s):
C Democratic Republic of Congo

Appearance:
Peacock dark blue w/ metallic green & purple tinge often w/ yellowish hairlike crest on top of head, bare red neck, black tail w/ long flight feathers. Peahen chestnut brown w/ metallic green back, short chestnut brown crest, & dark/black abdomen. Both sexes have gray legs/feet. Much smaller than 2 Asian peafowl species.

Food/Diet:
Fruits, insects, larvae, spiders, worms, snails, millipedes, seeds, plant matter, small reptiles

Status in Wild:
Threatened

Conservation:
Captive breeding program at Salonga National Park-important stronghold for this species. Antwerp Zoo initiated captive breeding program in 1971. Now bred in many zoos & wildlife parks.

Lifestyle:
Peacock-peahen pairs or family parties of pair w/ 1-3 sets of offspring

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Peacock
Female: Peahen
Young: Peachick
Group: Party/Muster/Ostentation

Weight:
Male: 3.3 lbs
Female: 2.65 lbs

Gestation:
1 month 

Life Span:
15-20 years

Height:
Male: 2.29 ft
Female: 1.97 ft

Body Length:
Male: 2.083-2.3 ft
Female: 2-2.083 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 8.11-10.23 in
Female: 6.65-8.85 in

Main predators are felids, chimps, bonobos, snakes, crocodiles, pigs, & eagles.
 
Also called African peafowl or mbulu (name given by Bakongo people).
 
Only true pheasant in Africa.
 
Sexually mature at a year old.
 
Threatened due to logging/deforestation, habitat loss, mining, agriculture, civil war, trapping in snares meant for other animals, & hunting for feathers/meat/eggs.
 
Courtship involves peacock strutting w/ wings/tail feathers fanned out, along w/ bowing/offering food to peahen.
 
Peacocks have high-pitched “gowe” call while peahens have low “gowah” call. Also engage in loud “rro-ho-ho-o-a” duets.
 
Peahens have 2-3 clutches per year, each w/ 1-4 eggs/peachicks.
 
Peacocks use spurs on inside of leg for fighting/defense.
 
Like other peafowl, eyes on side of head to look out for predators.

Fun Fact(s):
Peachicks highly precocious, being able to run/forage/fly within few days of hatching.
 
While they can fly, they prefer to run.
 
Discovered by Western scientists in 1935 (by American ornithologist Dr. James Chapin to be exact) after failed search for other highly elusive Congo denizen (Okapi). He noticed native Congolese headdresses had long reddish-brown feathers that he couldn’t identify w/ any known bird species. Later, Chapin visited Royal Museum of Central Africa, seeing 2 stuffed specimens w/ similar feathers labeled as Indian Peacock later discovered to be new Congo Peacock.
 
Some scientists believe it’s a link between peafowl & related guineafowl.
Congo Peafowl pair, Brookfield Zoo, me

1 thought on “Congo Peafowl

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