Indian Peafowl

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Birds

iIndian Peafowl
An Indian Peacock displaying.
An Indian Peacock displaying.
Conservation status

Least Concern (LC)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Pavo
Species: P. cristatus
Binomial name
Pavo cristatus
Linnaeus, 1758

The Indian Peafowl, Pavo cristatus also known as the Common Peafowl and the India Blue Peafowl is one of the species of bird in the genus Pavo of the Phasianidae family known as peafowl. The Indian Peafowl is a resident breeder in eastern Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.

The species is found in dry semi-desert grasslands, scrub and deciduous forests. It forages and nests on the ground but roosts on top of trees. It eats mainly seeds, but also some insects, fruits and reptiles.

The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen. The Indian Peacock has beautiful iridescent blue-green plumage. The upper tail coverts are enormously elongated and ornate with an eye at the end of each feather. The female plumage is a mixture of dull green, grey and iridescent blue, with the greenish-grey predominating. In the breeding season, females can be told apart from the lack of the long tail feathers also known as the train. Peahens can be distinguished from males in the non-breeding season by the green colour of the neck as opposed to the blue on the males.

Peafowl are most notable for the male's extravagant tail also known as a train, a result of sexual selection, which it displays as part of courtship. This train is in reality not the tail but the enormously elongated upper tail coverts. The tail itself is brown and short as in the peahen.

  • Peacock mating call
    • The peacock's rituals include the display of its startling plumage and a loud call.
Peacock tail feathers.
Peacock tail feathers.

They lay a clutch of 4-8 eggs which take 28 days to hatch. The eggs are light brown and are laid every other day usually in the afternoon. The male does not assist with the rearing, and can take up to six hens.

This species can hybridise with the closely related Green Peafowl, Pavo muticus and create offspring called spaldings(this is especially named for the hybrid of the "black-shoulder" variation of the indian peafowl and the java green subspecies of the green peacock).

Peacocks are sometimes kept as domesticated animals for decoration. Many varieties exist, such as black-shouldered, oaten, white, purple, opal, pied, and midnight. The peacock is the national bird of India.

A side view of the peacock
A side view of the peacock


Indian Peafowl went feral in Mexico in the 19th century. The range of these peafowl now reaches across most of Mexico, and much of the USA from California to Florida.

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