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Common Peafowl

Pavo cristatus

Common Peafowl at Henry Vilas Zoo

About Common Peafowl

In the bird world, it’s common for female peafowls to have dull coloring to camouflage them from predators. On the other hand, males tend to be bright and colorful to help them attract females!

Habitat

They are native to India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Bhutan in open forest habitats.

Diet

Common peafowls primarily eat insects, worms, flowers, grass, small frogs, lizards, and snakes.

Family Life

Peafowls are selective when choosing their mates. Peahens (females) favor larger males who have the largest numbers of eyespots on their tails. Peahens typically begin breeding around two years old, laying between 6 to 12 eggs. The babies, peachicks, are born weighing three to four ounces.

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Common Peafowl is classified as least concern.
Least concern graphic

Threats

  • The natural predators of the common peafowl belong to the large cat family. Felines like the civet, tiger, and leopard all hunt the peafowl for food. Wild dogs and jackals are also known to hunt the peafowl.
  • The common peafowl is effective at hiding from and escaping their enemies due to their elusiveness while running and hiding in shrubbery. Most large cats must surprise the peafowl when they attack.
  • The greatest enemy of the peafowl, however, is humans. Humans are responsible for destroying their natural habitat, hunting for sport, and eating them along with their eggs.

Facts about Common Peafowl

  • Class:
    Aves (birds)
  • Order:
    Galliformes (ground feeding birds)
  • Family:
    Phasianidae
  • Genus:
    Pavo (pheasant)
  • Species:
    Pavo cristatus (common peafowl)
  • Life Span:
    20 years
  • Size:
    8 – 9.1 feet (2.4 – 2.7 m)
  • Weight:
    8.75 – 13 pounds (3.9 – 5.9 kg)
  • Tail Length:
    5 feet (1.5 m)

Fun Facts

  • Males (peacocks) display for females (peahens) to make babies (peachicks). They do this by shaking their tail feathers and wings to attract a female.
  • Although they’re easy on the eye, common peafowls lose their feathers every other year!
  • The peafowl is the national bird of India!

We save species. You can help.

Support Conservation. Support Henry Vilas Zoo.

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