Peacock

Category: Birds

The peacock is a very large bird known for its massive plume of colorful feathers. The peacock is the subject of much folklore, superstition, and old wives' tales. The peacock is also a prominent feature in popular culture.

Peacock

Peacock

Scientific & Common Names

Kindgom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Aves

Order - Galliformes

Family - Phasianidae

Subfamily - Phasianinae

Genus - Pavo

Species - P. cristatus

Common Names - Peafowl, Peacock (formally for males), Peahen (formally for females)

Characteristics

The peacock is a medium-sized bird that is closely related to pheasants. The peacock is known for its large, colorful train of feathers. These iridescent feathers can be lowered to the ground or raised up high over the bird's head. The peacock ranges in size from 27 to 51 inches long and in weight from three to five pounds. The male peacock is generally twice the size of the female peacock.

Breeding

The peacock lays four to eight eggs at a time, and the incubation period for these eggs is approximately a month. The mother peacock generally raises her flock alone with no help from the father peacock. New peacocks typically leave the nest at around two to three months of age. The peacock is believed to be polygamous, which contributes to the male peacock's lack of assistance with the rearing of the young peacocks.

Behavior

In the wild, the peacock nests on the ground but roosts up in trees. Some experts believe that the peacock is polygamous, but there is new evidence that suggests this bird may be monogamous. The peacock eats flowers, seeds, plants, and small reptiles and insects. The female peacock is generally more approachable than the male peacock but can show a temper when provoked.

History

The peacock hails from the southern hemisphere; India is the most popular place to find peacocks. Typically, this bird can live 20 years in the wild or when domesticated. The peacock is the subject of much folklore. Some cultures worship this bird, while others fear the bird and have many superstitions about the bird and its feathers. Peacock feathers are used in many goods.

Present Status

The peacock is a very popular bird, and there are many peacocks in North America. These peacocks live in private homes, on farms, and in zoos or wildlife refuges.