Indian Peafowl

ANIMAL:
Indian Peafowl               Pavo cristatus

Type of Animal:
Gamebird

Habitat:
Open/closed forest, woodland, farmland, villages, urban areas, grassland, bushland, riparian areas

Location(s):
Much of Indian subcontinent, Nepal, Bhutan, & Sri Lanka. Feral populations have established themselves worldwide.

Appearance:
Males (peacocks) have metallic blue crown w/ blue-green feathers & large eye spots on long train. Females (peahens) more chestnut-beige w/ much shorter train & smaller than peacock.

Food/Diet:
Grains, insects, berries, drupes, cultivated crops, fruit, lizards, snakes, small mammals, flowers, petals, seeds, grasses, insects, spiders, amphibians, veggies, refuse, snails, legumes, carrion, eggs

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, bird parks, & aviculture

Lifestyle:
Peahens usually found in small parties of 4-6 birds w/ peacock present. Sometimes, multiple peacocks live among larger flocks of peahens. Other peacocks often found in small bachelor parties. Peacocks form small territories within area called a lek during breeding season.

Additional Info:

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

Weight:
Male-11 lbs
Female-7 lbs
Young-0.6 lbs

Gestation:
1 month

Height:
Male-2 ft
Female-1 ft

Body Length:
Male-7 ft
Female-3 ft

Life Span: 
20 years in wild, 25 years in captivity

Tail Length:
Male-3 ft
Female-0.5 ft

Main predators are felids, canids, monitor lizards, bears, large pythons, civets, eagles, & large owls. Mongooses & snakes prey on peachicks.

Peacocks often display to each other & designate territory during breeding season using loud ear-piercing shrieks. If displays don’t work, they engage in fights w/ their spurs.

Displays shown by peacocks during the breeding season known to be quite remarkable.

Largest gamebird in world.

Peacocks often more vulnerable to predators than peahens due to conspicuousness.

Fun Fact(s):
Hindus consider birds sacred.

Eyes described in Greek mythology as “the great eyes of Argus.” Argus was Hera’s watchman & she honored him by putting his eyes on the tail of a peacock.

Many zoos have free-roaming peafowl.

National bird of India & state bird of Punjab.

Domesticated peafowl have been status symbol for royalty since at least 1000 B.C. They were also raised for their meat.

Often unafraid of people.

Sometimes kept as pets in parts of India.

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