Pavo cristatusPeacock

Family

  • Phasianidae

Lifespan

  • Wild: Up to 20 years
  • Captivity:  Up to 30 years

Size

  • Length: Males, with ornamental feathers, are 7 to 9 ½ feet while the females are about 3 feet.
    • They are the largest member of the pheasant and turkey family
  • Weight: Males -- 9 to 13 pounds females – 6 to 9 pounds

Habitat

  • Dense, lowland tropical forests near water

Origin

  • India and Sri Lanka

Diet Peahens

  • Wild: Seeds, fruit, plant matter, insects, snakes, and mice
  • Zoo: Game bird feed, greens

Reproduction

  • Peahens lay 4 to 6 eggs once a year in a shallow, hollow nest lined with sticks, leaves, and grass.
  • Incubation time is around 28 days.
  • The female tends the eggs and chicks alone.

Social Grouping/Lifestyle

  • Peafowl live in social groups consisting of 1 male and 3 to 5 females.
  • Peafowl are very routine, sleeping and eating in the same place every day.

Unique Characteristics

  • Like many other bird species, the male, called a "peacock", is more colorful than the female, called a "peahen".
  • The peacock’s long colorful train is made up of about 150 feathers growing from his lower back.
    • He raises his tail feathers in that famous dramatic fanned display to attract a mate or compete with other males for mates.
Peacock displaying

Special Adaptations

  • The peacock struts back and forth during his mating display, not only to attract a female, but also to keep his balance as the wind catches his enormous fan of feathers.
  • In addition, the peacock’s colorful plumage helps protect him from predators, by camouflaging him among the trees.

Humans & Peafowl

  • Peafowl are sacred in some parts of the world as a symbol of the goddess of learning and the god of war.
  • In other places, roast peafowl is considered a delicacy.
  • Peacock feathers are appreciated the world over for their striking colors and pattern.
    • The export of peacock feathers, however, is illegal.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • The Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is not under threat of population decline at this time, but the very similar Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) is endangered

 Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
  3. Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012. www.eol.org/pages/1049264