(Last Updated on : 07-06-2013)
The term peafowl refers to two bird species in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. The male is called peacock and the female is called peahen. The two species are Indian Peafowl, Pavo cristatus (Asiatic) and Green Peafowl, Pavo muticus(Asiatic).
The Indian Peafowl is a local breeder in the Indian subcontinent. It is the national bird of India. The male (peacock) Indian Peafowl has shimmering blue-green or green colored feathers. The tail feathers have a series of eyes that can be viewed properly only when the tail is fanned. The two species, Indian Peafowl and the Green Peafowl have a head crest.
The female (peahen) Indian Peafowl have green, brown and grey colours in her feathers. She does not have the long upper tail coverts of the male but has a crest. The females also display their feathers as a signal of danger.
The Green Peafowl is different from the Indian Peafowl in appearance. The male bird has green and gold feathers along with an erect crest. The colours of the wings are black along with a touch of shimmering blue. The Green Peahen does not have much difference with the male unlike the Indian Peafowl. The only difference is that the Green Peahen has a shorter upper tail coverts and less shimmers on its feathers. The adolescent male is similar to the adult female. The Peafowl are forest birds that build its nest on the ground.
Peafowls are polygamous and during the mating season the females make a very loud high-pitched cry. They are omnivorous and eat plant parts, flower, petals, seed heads, insects and other arthropods, reptiles and amphibians.