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Male Peafowl

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Astonished and scared by the high honking, screaming sounds of peacock in my neighborhood drove me to write about it. Source-Wikipedia

The genera Pavo-Peafowl.

Peacocks or Peafowl are forest-birds known to nest on the ground, but roost in the trees. These are terrestrial feeders. The species of peafowl are polygamous. During the territorial fights with some other species of their kind, the metatarsal spurs or thorns on the male legs are used.


The diet habit of the peafowl is Omnivorous and eat mostly insects, flower petals, plants, seed heads and sometimes they also feed on reptiles, arthropods and amphibians. The search for food by Wild peafowl is done at dusk. They roam scratching around in the leaf litter for food. During the hottest portion, of the day, peafowl, retreat to the security and shade of the woods. These birds will eat almost anything they can fit in their beak and digest as they are not picky. They hunt for insects like crickets, ants, arthropods, termites, millipedes and other small mammals and small reptiles like small snake. Peacocks as pets may also like to eat bread and cracked grains such as oats and corn, cooked rice cheese and sometimes cat food. Some Keepers note that peafowl enjoy different kinds of meat and fruit most probably a protein-rich food including larvae that infest granaries, as well as vegetables including dark leafy greens, broccoli, beans carrots, peas and beetroots.

The Peacock, or a male Peafowl, is considered as one of the most beautiful and exotic of all birds. The tail or train is six feet long, having two shiny colors green, blue. Tail feathers are brown in color.

There are three bird species, Peafowl being the common in all. It is a Scientific classification:

The genera Pavo.

Afropavo of the family Phasianidae.

The pheasants and their allies.

Sexual Selection and Evolution:

Charles Darwin, a biologist,naturalist, suggested that the long train served to attract females, and the showy features for female selection. An evolutionary biologist, named Amotz Zahavi, more recently, proposed in his handicap theory about these features.

The large train or tail features, acted as honest signals of the males fitness, as a less-fit male would not be capable of surviving with such conspicuous and large heavy structures.

Female Choice:

The train of the peacock is highly elongated and the upper tail coverts, it consists the tail quill feathers, as well. An attraction signal which is a long-distance, occurs in the upper train, whereas, considering the lower train courtship during the close-up, it usually, evaluates.

Plumage colours as attractants:

The feathers have a marking like eye-spots. These eye-spots are observed clearly when the peacock fans his tail. Peahens attraction were peafowl actions such as train rattling and wing shaking.

Food courtship theory: by Merle Jacobs.

Male peafowl, attract attention of peahen for the resemblance of their eye spots to their food, the blue berries. This is the Food-courtship theory.

Natural selection:

A few studies suggest that a peacock's train, loud call and a fearless behaviour, all these have been formed by a natural selection (not sexual selection), and thus, served as an Aposematic display to intimidate rivals and predators.

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Redundant signal hypothesis:

1)The redundant signal hypothesis states that each signal projected by the male peafowl is of same quality and does not enhance the reliability of that mate.

2) Multiple repetitive signals and responses also state that peafowl defend their areas from intruders. Thus, a crucial role is played on the peafowl part using redundant signal hypothesis.


Pavo cristatus vocalisation.

Vocalisation seems to stand as a primary way in courtship, for peacocks to attract peahens. Also, as suggested by a few studies, the intricacy of the "song" or sound, is proved to be attractive and impressive to the peahens. Usually, singing in peacocks occurs, just before, just after, or sometimes during copulation.

There are colour variations which include white, opal, midnight, purple, Buford bronze, charcoal, taupe and jade. Colours like purple, peach, cameo and Viol-eta are considered sex-linked colours. Colour and pattern variations, additionally, to become officially recognised as a morph among breeders, are first approved by the United Peafowl Association.

Indian peafowl (often a symbol of vanity and pride).

The peafowl is known as the National bird of India since 1963, as it is native to India. It displays its significance in Indian culture. In Hinduism, Peafowl feather is depicted around Goddess Santoshi. It is also established on the mount of the God of war, Lord Kartikeya, also known as the Warrior Goddess Kaumari. A war with Asuras, led Karthikeya to split the demon king Surapadman into half. The God, had converted the two halves as an integral part of himself, out of respect for his adversary's prowess in battle, one half became a peacock serving as his moun, the other a rooster, adorning his flag. The peacock, when it spreads its magnificent plumes into a full-blown circular form it represents the divine shape of Omkara. The peacock feathers also adorn the crest of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu who is one of the Trimurti's- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (lord Shiva).

The founder of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta Maurya, was born as an orphan and raised by a family who were farming peacocks and thus ascribing its name to Chandragupta as Mauryan (मौर्य), translating to "peacock-ness". After the defeat of the Seleucid Empire and also after conquering the Nanda Empire, Chandragupta established the uncontested power of his time. Meanwhile, the royal emblem remained the peacock until Emperor Ashoka changed it to a lion as seen in the Lion Capital of Asoka. The significance of royalty and elegance of the peacock, pertained in India, during the medieval times, as it was the Mughal seat of power, known as 'The Peacock Throne'.

Poisonous substances were deliberately consumed by the peacocks to enhance immunity. This was a belief. Also, to make the colours of their resplendent plumage all the more vibrant – The idea of aposematism, appears to have merit, as so many poisonous flora and fauna are colourful.The Mahamayuri, a Buddhist deity is depicted to be seated on a peacock. The throne of Amitabha,is also seemed to be supported by the peacock. Buddha's ruby red sunset coloured archetypal of Infinite Light is also a wonderful example.

The peacock became one of the national symbols of India and so India adopted the peacock as national bird in1963.

Claudius Aelianus a modern Greek transliteration, wrote that there were Peacocks in India, in large quantities compared to anywhere else.

The peafowl was a symbol of immortality to the Ancient Greeks as they believed that the flesh of the peafowl did not decay even after death. Also, the Greek goddess Hera's chariot in Hellenistic imagery was pulled by peacocks (birds not known to Greeks) those days. Peacock was believed to be the third animal of the zodiac of Sri Lanka by the Sinhalese. Both the Burmese and Sinhalese zodiacs represented peafowl significance.

The peacock is often engraved upon royal throne as a guardian to royalty in Persia and Babylonia. In Yazidi the "Peacock Angel" meaning faith, for Melek Taus (Arabic: طاووس ملك‎‎; Persian: ملک طاووس‎‎; Kurdish: Tawûsê Melek‎). Yazidi is considered an emanation of God and a benevolent angel. Tawûsê Melek is depicted as a peacock. The Ancient Greeks considered peacocks as immortal as they had a belief that the flesh of Peafowl did not decay even after death, thus, it became a symbol of immortality to them.

The Christian iconography, adopted Babylonian and old Persian symbolism. Both believed that the peacock was associated with Paradise and the Tree of Life.

An American broadcaster, NBC adopted an abstraction of a11-feathered peacock logo due to the increase in colour programming crested in 1956, by John J. Graham. NBC's first color emblem made its first on-air appearance on 22 May 1956. Whereas, the current, six-feathered logo, debuted on May 12, 1986.

History signifies that the ancient Romans had adopted the bird of immortality bestowed upon the Empress after her death.


Various types of fowls, in the Medieval period, started to be consumed as food. The skin was taken off with greatest care so that the feathers were not detached or broken. The tail was supported with wire to resemble a fan. The claws and the head and specially, the tuft was washed properly and used for presentation. No ordinary cook could place the peacock properly on the table, only the lady most distinguished for her beauty, carried it, amidst inspiring music, and placed it before the master of the house when the banquet was commenced.


The preparation of the peacock to make it eatable was one of the grandest. The style, the ingredients, the cooks, the day, the honourable master and the serving beauty all were ceremonial.

After cleaning properly and decorating The feathers and tail and also the head carefully and presentably; the stuffing was done with the livers of fowls, bacon, truffles, thyme, mushrooms, salt, spice, crumbs of bread, and a bay-leaf. The claws and head were wrapped in several folds of cloth, and the body was enveloped in a buttered paper. Last but not the least, it was garnished with lemon and flowers.

The peacock was served by the maid of honour at Nuptial feasts and placed before the bride for her to consume.

Here are some Un-describe-able various plumage.


Peafowl eggs

Pea chick

Head of adult peacock

A Leucistica Indian peacock

Peacock from behind.

Peacock from front angle

Peacock with different positions.


Vocalization - The screaming and honking

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Jyoti

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