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Peafowl

peacock sean.JPG

COMMON NAME: Indian Peafowl
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pavo cristatus

DIET: Omnivore: Fruit, berries, grains, small mammals, reptiles,

small snakes and insects. They like ants, millipedes,

crickets, termites, centipedes, locust and scorpions.
GROUP NAME: Party, Ostentation, or a Pride

YOUNG NAME: Peachicks

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: 10 to 25  years

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN CAPTIVITY: 40 to 50 years

FAMILY: Pheasant Family, Phasianidae.
SIZE: 35 to 50 inches

WINGSPAN: Females 31 to 51 inches. Males 51 to 63 inches

TAIL LENGTH: 5 feet

WEIGHT: Females 6 to 8.8 pounds. Males 8 to 13 pounds

CLUTCH SIZE: 3 to 8

 

1. The male is a peacock, the female is a peahen and the babies are peachicks. All are peafowl.

 

2. Peafowl in 5 distinct colorations live at Liberty Acres, North Carolina: the classic Indian Blue, Bronze, White, Silver Pied, and Cameo.

 

3. The peacock is well known for its bright feathers, which it often shows off in a magnificent courting display. The Indian peacock has very flashy plumage, with a bright blue head and neck, which they use to attract a mate. There are several genetic color mutations of Indian peafowl, including Bronze, White, Silver Pied, and Cameo.

 

4. The peacock’s back and belly have iridescent feathers in a scale pattern. Indian peacocks are known for their long “train,” often thought of as a tail by many people. The train is covered in ocelli, which are round spots that look a lot like shining eyes.

5. Peacocks are omnivores. They are ground-feeders that eat insects, plants, and small creatures.

6. Blue peacocks inhabit open lowland forests, as well as farms and agricultural fields. They can be found in both tropical and dry habitats. Even in their natural range, these birds roam in cities and parks in search of food.

7. The blue peacock can be found in India and Sri Lanka.

8. Breeding season starts with the monsoon rains. Peacocks are known for having one of the most spectacular mating displays. When a male wants to attract a female, he props up his train of feathers and unfolds it like a fan into a semi-circle that can measure around 6 to 7 feet wide. If the peahen seems interested, he quivers, making his feathers shimmy and flash to entice her further.

9. The peahen raises the chicks on her own. She creates a nest, where she lays three to eight light green or tan eggs. The incubation period is 28 to 30 days, and she will sit on the eggs almost constantly during this period. The peachicks are able to walk and forage on their own immediately after they hatch. Peachicks are very vulnerable and have a high mortality rate, with only two out of six chicks surviving to adulthood.

10. After two weeks, they can flap up into a tree for safety. At four weeks, the young grow crests, and at two months they look just like their mother but are only half her size. Males do not have their mature coloring until their second year. Our peafowl here in North Carolina love roosting on high, outdoor perches.

11. Blue peacock follow a routine every day. They spend their mornings in small groups foraging on the ground for food. During the non-breeding season, these are usually groups of all peacocks or all peahens; but during the breeding season, there are harem groups of one peacock and several peahens or all bachelors.

 

12. They take a break from foraging midday, where they drink, preen their feathers and rest in the shade. They go back to foraging for food once the temperature cools down before returning to their roost for the night. They roost overnight in large groups in tall, open trees. By roosting in large groups, they are safe from predators during the night, and the males can travel through the branches.

13. In the wild, peafowl live 10 to 25 years. Domesticated peafowl have been known to live as long as 40 to 50 years.

14. Peafowl are among the largest of all birds that fly. (Ostriches, emus, and other such birds are bigger, but cannot fly.) The beautiful feathers that cover the tails of a peacock are 5 feet long, longer than the bird's body, and can be displayed in a spectacular fan of brilliant colors. These long feathers actually grow from the bird's back not the tail. He elevates them by raising the much shorter tail feathers underneath them.

15. Peahens are more drab than their male counterparts, with mostly brown on their back with a white belly. Females don't have long tail feathers, but they do have a crest on their head and green neck feathers.

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