John&Jacq~s Garden

Peacock with captivating iridescent colouration

Peacock (Peafowl, Peahen)

The term peacock is reserved for the male while the female is known as a peahen. Both are peafowl. The immature offspring are sometimes called peachicks.

In both species of Pavo, the male has a 90–130 cm body and 150 cm train of tail feathers that are coloured a brilliant metallic green.
This train is mainly formed of the  bird’s upper tail coverts which are enormously elongated.
Each feather is tipped with an iridescent eyespot that is ringed with blue and bronze.
In courtship displays, the cock elevates his tail, which lies under the train, thus elevating the train and bringing it forward.
At the climax of this display, the tail feathers are vibrated, giving the feathers of the train a shimmering appearance and making a rustling sound.

The blue peacock’s body feathers are mostly metallic blue-green.
The green peacock, with a train much like that of the blue, has green-and-bronze body feathers.
Hens of both species are green and brown and almost as big as the male but lack the train and the head ornament.
In the wild, both species live in open lowland forests, flocking by day and roosting high in trees at night.
During the breeding season, the male peacock forms a harem of two to five hens, each of which lays four to eight whitish eggs in a depression in the ground.

Taxonomy:

Range: As an ornamental bird, the peacock is a staple resident of many of the world’s zoos and has long been famous throughout the Old World. Green peacocks in captivity must be kept apart from other fowl, though, because of their aggressive disposition. Blue peacocks, though native to hot steamy lands, can survive northern winters. However, green peacocks cannot tolerate much cold.

Habitat: Peafowl are forest birds that nest on the ground, but roost in trees.  They are terrestrial feeders. All species of peafowl are believed to be polygamous. In common with other members of the Galliformes, the males possess metatarsal spurs or thorns on their legs used during intraspecific territorial fights with other members of their kind.

Food plants: Peafowl are omnivores and eat mostly plant parts, flower petals, seed heads, insects and other arthropods, reptile and amphibians. Wild peafowl look for their food scratching around in leaf litter either early in the morning or at dusk. They retreat to the shade and security of the woods for the hottest portion of the day. These birds are not picky and will eat almost anything they can fit in their beak and digest. They actively hunt insects like ants, crickets, termites, millipedes and other arthropods and small mammals. Indian peafowl also eat small snakes.

External link:
1. Wikipedia about the Peafowl.
2. Britannica about the Peacock.