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A Male Indian Peacock shows off his plumage to ward off visitors. This one was actually guarding a female on a nest at the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, D.C. Peacocks. More information about the Indian Peacock from Wikipedia
The Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is a large and brightly coloured bird of the pheasant family native to South Asia, but introduced and semi-feral in many other parts of the world. The species was first named and described by Linnaeus in 1758. The name Pavo cristatus is still in use now. The male peacock is predominantly blue with a fan-like crest of spatula-tipped wire-like feathers and is best known for the long train made up of elongated upper-tail covert feathers which bear colourful eyespots. These stiff and elongated feathers are raised into a fan and quivered in a display during courtship. The female lacks the train, has a greenish lower neck and a duller brown plumage. The Indian Peafowl is found mainly on the ground in open forest or on land under cultivation where they forage for berries, grains but will also prey on snakes, lizards, and small rodents. Their loud calls make them easy to detect, and in forest areas often indicate the presence of a predator such as a tiger. They forage on the ground in small groups and will usually try to escape on foot through undergrowth and avoid flying, though they will fly into tall trees to roost. The bird is celebrated in Indian and Greek mythology and is the national bird of India. The Indian Peafowl is listed as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The male, known as a peacock, is a large bird with a length from bill to tail of 100 to 115 cm (40 to 46 inches) and to the end of a fully grown train as much as 195 to 225 cm (78 to 90 inches) and weigh 4�6 kg (8.8�13.2 lbs). The females, or peahens, are smaller at around 95 cm (38 inches) in length and weigh 2.75�4 kg (6�8.8 lbs). Indian Peafowl are among the largest and heaviest representatives of the Phasianidae. Their size, colour and shape of crest make them unmistakable within their native distribution range. The male is metallic blue on the crown, the feathers of the head being short and curled. The fan-shaped crest on the head is made of feathers with bare black shafts and tipped with blush-green webbing. A white stripe above the eye and a crescent shaped white patch below the eye are formed by bare white skin. The sides of the head have iridescent greenish blue feathers. The back has scaly bronze-green feathers with black and copper markings. The scapular and the wings are buff and barred in black, the primaries are chestnut and the secondaries are black. The tail is dark brown and the "train" is made up of elongated upper tail coverts (more than 200 feathers, the actual tail has only 20 feathers) and nearly all of these feathers end with an elaborate eye-spot. A few of the outer feathers lack the spot and end in a crescent shaped black tip. The underside is dark glossy green shading into blackish under the tail. The thighs are buff coloured. The male has a spur on the leg above the hind toe.
Call of Pavo cristatus
The adult peahen has a rufous-brown head with a crest as in the male but the tips are chestnut edged with green. The upper body is brownish with pale mottling. The primaries, secondaries and tail are dark brown. The lower neck is metallic green and the breast feathers are dark brown glossed with green. The remaining underparts are whitish. Downy young are pale buff with a dark brown mark on the nape that connects with the eyes. Young males look like the females but the wings are chestnut coloured.
The most common calls are a loud pia-ow or may-awe. The frequency of calling increases before the Monsoon season and may be delivered in alarm or when disturbed by loud noises. In forests, their calls often indicate the presence of a predators such as the tiger. They also make many other calls such as a rapid series of ka-aan..ka-aan or a rapid kok-kok.
April 9th, 2013
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