The moment we hear the word ‘peacock’, all we can imagine is a majestic bird with its huge tail. It spellbinds us with its magnificent colors and the amazing display of its tail. The question is, how much do you know about peacocks? This article on peacock facts will walk you through some of the most amazing facts about this incredibly beautiful bird.
So, without further ado, let us start with our list of facts about peacock.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Galliformes
- Family: Phasianidae
- Subfamily: Phasianinae
- Genus: Pavo
Peacock Facts: 1-10
1. Peacock is actually the male bird. The collective term for both male and female birds of this genera is ‘peafowl’.
2. The term ‘peafowl’ is common for three species – blue or Indian peafowl, green peafowl, and Congo peafowl.
3. Males are called peacocks, females are peahens, and babies are called peachicks.
4. A group of any peafowl is called harem. A group of peahens is called bevy, muster, or party.
5. The male peachicks don’t develop their feathers until they turn three years old. It is due to this reason it becomes hard to tell the gender of peachicks. When the males turn six months old, their color starts changing.
6. Peacocks generally shed their feathers after mating season every year. Fortunately for them, they don’t get killed for their beautiful feathers.
7. The tail feathers of peacock may reach up to a length of six feet (for the green peacock) and it actually makes up 60% of the body length. They still can fly but only for short distances. The peachicks can start flying when they are just 3 days old.
8. You can find an all-white peafowl. It is not natural and it is not even albino. It is because of leucism – a genetic mutation that causes loss or decrease of many pigments including melatonin. This results in the feathers being white, pale, etc.
9. The difference between albino and leucistic is the fact that in leucism, the eyes don’t lose any pigmentation. Any albino person or animal loses pigmentation in eyes and skin and sometimes even hair (for humans).
10. The meat of peacock was a delicacy in medieval times. After roasting, their feathers were put back in the same form to give the guests an appearance of a live bird. However, lucky for the peacocks, they didn’t taste good. Their meat was discouraged by physicians as well for their “not easily digestible” quality.
Facts about Peacock: 11-20
11. The tail of the peacock is called a train. The feathers also have some microscopic structures which look like crystals. These crystal-like structures reflect light. The few other species to have such crystals are hummingbirds and shimmering butterflies.
12. Did you know that peacocks can make 11 different types of sounds? Peacocks make another type of sound that has so low pitch that humans can’t hear it. They make this sound with the help of their tail.
13. The most preferred areas of habitat for peacocks are rainforests, bushlands, forests, and warm places.
14. Blue or Indian peacocks can survive cold winters pretty comfortably but the green peacocks can’t tolerate winter.
15. Peacocks are considered as the protectors of Feng Shui. The feathers are considered to protect people from threats. The white peacock is considered as a bearer of eternal tranquility and happiness.
16. The peafowls reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 years. The peahens lay around 6 eggs. January to March is the best time for laying eggs. The eggs hatch in about 28 days. Peahens are excellent mothers.
17. Just like many birds, peacocks are polygamous. They mate with multiple partners. A peacock usually has two female partners but some can have as many as five.
18. Peafowls tend to get aggressive when any stranger (any other peafowl or a human) enters their territory. They don’t even let snakes enter their territory.
19. The peafowls are social animals. They like to bond with humans as well. Just like our pets, they can be attached to a person and be altruistic towards them. Needless to say, they don’t like being alone. They travel in a group of 8 or 10.
20. They have four toes on each foot. Three of the toes point forward and the fourth one point backward. It helps the peacock to hold the branches. They don’t have webbed feet and hence they can’t swim.
Facts of Peacock: 21-30
21. The peacocks use their feathers to attract mates. The better the quality of feathers, the higher is the chance of being selected by peahen.
22. These birds are pretty intelligent. Sometimes peacocks make fake copulatory calls to attract females. They do this to convince other females about their high sexual activity which indicates genetic fertility than their counterparts.
23. A peahen has a sensor in her crest that can feel the vibrations of a potential mate who may be a little far. This sensor tunes to the vibrations of the peacock’s tails.
24. When a peacock rattles his tail, the tail is shaken at a rate of 26 times per second. This creates a pressure wave that catches the attention of a peahen.
25. They can run at a speed of 16 kilometers per hour or 10 miles per hour.
26. They display their feathers prominently in spring or their breeding season. Thanks to their feathers which give a wingspan of 4.9 feet or 1.5 meters, they are considered as one of the largest flying birds in the entire world.
27. They make their nests on ground but they usually prefer to perch on treetops.
28. Greeks believed that the flesh or meat of peafowls doesn’t decay even after its death. Hence, they were considered a symbol of immortality.
29. The Bible praised the peacocks stating they are the most prized item aboard the ships of King Solomon that came from Asia.
30. A popular television network in the USA, NBC’s logo is in the form of a colorful peacock. This logo has been active since 1956.
Peacock Facts: 31-40
31. A peacock is an omnivorous bird. It eats plants, insects, fruits, reptiles, amphibians, etc.
32. Indian peacock is seen in India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. It is considered to be extinct in Bangladesh.
33. Peacocks have been kept in captivity since 2000 years ago.
34. The Indian peacock is not considered as endangered or vulnerable but Congo peafowl is listed as vulnerable and green peafowl is listed as endangered by IUCN.
35. You can find a bare patch of skin without any feathers around the eyes of any peafowl – it is one of the characteristic features of a peafowl.
36. They have a lifespan of up to 20 years in the wild whereas they can have a lifespan of 50 years in captivity.
37. Peacocks are twice the size of peahens.
38. Congo peafowl is Africa’s only large phasianid.
39. The Indian peafowls can grow up to 120 centimeters in length. The green peafowls can grow up to 300 centimeters in length. The Congo peafowls can grow up to 70 centimeters in length (all measurements including the tail). Indian peafowls weigh up to 6 kilograms. Green peafowls weigh up to 5 kilograms.
Facts about Peacock: 41-50
41. Peacock is the national bird of India. Gray peacock is the national bird of Burma or Myanmar. Indian peacock is the only species to display its plumage in a grandeur fashion. Other species just have few feathers.
42. Peacocks love to play. When they play, they run and follow only and only one direction i.e. clockwise direction. Once they get tired, they just suddenly stop and start walking at a normal pace.
43. Peacocks are beautiful but they make loud and screeching sounds that are not really pleasant to our ears. According to some studies, peacocks sing during mating season to attract females.
44. Did you know Alexander the Great took peacocks to his Mediterranean territories and he even penalized the people who tried to catch them?
45. Peachicks weighs a mere 103 grams at birth. In a day, they start walking!
46. A peacock can have a maximum of 200 feathers on its tail at any given point in time.
47. Needless to say, peahens are not as attractive as peacocks.
48. Peacocks dance in a peculiar and distinct way to attract females.
49. For Jews, the golden peacock is a sign of creativity and joy.
50. Peacocks hold some significance in almost every culture like Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, etc.
Bonus: All peafowl species have a crest atop their head.