The graceful Indian peafowl is native to South Asia
, and the male’s resplendent coloring has earned it the title of India’s
national bird. The term “peafowl” refers to the male, commonly called a peacock, and the female, commonly called a peahen, although the female is often referred to as a peacock or female peacock. Peacocks have magnificent, vivid tail feathers. The female’s plumage is muted brown and green-gray with a neck of emerald, as opposed to a male’s neck, which is iridescent blue. Females are about 34 inches long and weigh about 7 pounds, while males average at about 7 feet in full breeding plumage (42 inches when not) and weigh about 11 pounds.
Indian peafowl inhabit
deciduous forests, scrublands and
semi-desert grasslands. They roost in trees but scrape holes in the ground under thickets to lay their eggs. They are omnivores, foraging through leaf litter on the ground for, fruit, berries, seeds, flowers, insects, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals.
A male fans his long train during courtship; drabber female lack this colorful tail. During the mating season, a peahen lays a clutch of between four and eight light brown eggs, which the female incubates until they hatch 28 days later. One egg is laid every two days, typically in the afternoon. Males are polygamous, mating with up to six females, and play no role in rearing their young.