Indian Peafowl

The peacock is a really beautiful bird…every bit royal.

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The male

The male’s head, neck and lower body are glossy royal blue, the back is decorated shimmery green. They even have a crest edged blue and the eyes have a thick black line running through. The rest is outlined white. Its train is long and the feathers there are ovate, edged green with navy blue centers, surrounded by brown and lined with royal blue. Its flight feathers are rufous brown, wing covers are whitish grey with fine black bars.

The crested female is white-faced with a dark crown, eyes are like the male. It has greenish mottled brown neck and white belly. Its back and wings are brown. Tail is short and black.

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The female

The males are careful not to drag their long beautiful tail along the ground as it could spoil their beauty. So, when they are not foraging, they spend their time sitting on low tree branches or a high perch with tails hanging down. It is easier for the females as their tails are short.

They are associated with rainy season as it is their breeding time. They really love monsoons and can be seen ‘dancing’ to impress the females.

The dance:

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The dance

The males have excellent control over their tail feathers and, while dancing, they can fan these, take them up or down in slow motion in whatever angle that they may wish and they rotate their bodies while dancing giving a good 360-degree view to anyone who may be interested. All this while, they can also move their wings and under-wing feathers.

It is like a human controlling not only all the keys of a piano simultaneously, but also the entire orchestra. Each performance can last several minutes depending on the attention span of the female and, also, other disturbing factors. It is really an experience to watch them dance. As to how they do it…they practice a lot.

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Practice

I have seen them practice even when their tails are not fully grown.

Threats:

Major threat is rapid urbanization that is eating into their habitat at an alarming pace. Also, demand for their beautiful feathers from fashion industry, dancers, beauty pageants, ornamental and even religious reasons is another threat. Plucking their feathers seriously hampers their breeding chances and can cause their numbers to come down.

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Male with a plucked out tail

 

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