Peacock, the National Bird of India, is a colorful bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long slender neck. The male of the species is more colorful than the female, with a glistening blue body and neck and a spectacular bronze-green tail of around 200 elongated feathers. The female is brownish, slightly smaller than the male and lacks the tail. The elaborate courtship dance of the male, fanning out the tail and preening its feathers is a gorgeous sight.
The Indian peacock has iridescent blue and green plumage. The peacock “tail”, known as a “train”, consists not of tail quill feathers, but highly elongated upper tail coverts. These feathers are marked with eyespots, best seen when a peacock fans his tail. Both sexes of all species have a crest atop the head. The Indian peahen has a mixture of dull grey, brown, and green in her plumage. The female also displays her plumage to ward off female competition or signal danger to her young.
Peacock Feathery Train
It’s tail feathers, or coverts, spread out in a distinctive train that is more than 60 percent of the bird’s total body length
In Hindu culture, the peacock is the mount of the Lord Kartikeya, the god of war. A demon king, Surapadman, was split into two by Karthikeya and the merciful lord converted the two parts as an integral part of himself, one becoming a peacock (his mount) and another a rooster adorning his flag. The peacock displays the divine shape of Omkara when it spreads its magnificent plumes into a full-blown circular form. It’s feathers also adorn the crest of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, one of the Trimurti.
Fast Facts about Peacock
- Type: Bird
- Diet: Omnivore
- Average lifespan in the wild: 20 years
- Size: Body, 35 to 50 in (90 to 130 cm); Tail, 5 ft (1.5 m)
- Weight: 8.75 to 13 lbs (4 to 6 kg)
- Group name: Party
Did you know?
A peacock is one of the largest flying birds when the combined length of its train and its large wingspan are considered.
All pics are from National Zoological Park Delhi