Sunday, 3 February 2013

Common Peafowl

order : Galliformes      Genus & Species : Phasianidae     Family : Pavo cristatus

It is also known as peacock. And the male peafowl is the ultimate bird show-off. It is easy to see why “proud as a peacock” so aptly describes human vanity. The male’s brilliant plumage is designed to attract his mates, but it also provides surprisingly good camouflage in the dappled light of the forest. They found in the Indian subcontinent: Sri Lanka north to Kashmir and east through Nepal and Bangladesh; extends west into Pakistan to the Indus River. 

Habitat : In its wild state, the peafowl lives in hillside jungle and is rarely found far from streams bordered by dense, bushy vegetation. It is usually a bird of low to medium altitude, found up to about 1,980', although it has been recorded living at 5,940' in the Himalayas. The peafowl can adapt readily to life in small, isolated patches of woodland or fields of sugarcane. 
Food & Feeding : The peafowl will eat virtually any plant or animal matter. Wild figs, berries and nuts are favorite foods in season, but seeds, grain and leaves are staple items all year. It also stalk and catch small snakes, mice, other small mammals and insects such as grasshoppers, termites and ants. They’ll drink from a stream during their midday rest and feed again in late afternoon. They drink again at sunset, just before going to roost. 
Behavior :  It stays in the same area for a year and has a sedate daily routine, disrupted only when forced to flee a predator . The peafowl has regular sites for feeding, roosting, loafing and courting. It spends the middle of the day in the shade, where it rests and preens. Like other pheasants, the peafowl doesn't bathe in water, but cleans itself by vigorously rubbing its plumage in dry soil and dust. They fly almost vertically into the treetops, their raucous cries carrying far into the forest. Grazing animals often stampede at the sound of the peafowl’s alarm call, which they recognize as a signal that a big cat may be on the prowl. 
Breeding : The mating season begins with the monsoon , so its chicks benefit from the abundance of food resulting from the rains. The male displays to, and mates with, the three to five peahens in his harem. After mating, the female incubates the eggs and tends her chicks, her dull plumage concealing her from predators. Newly hatched downy chicks instinctively peck at their mother's bill, from which she offers them tiny bits of food until they feed themselves. At two weeks, the chicks can flutter and jump to accompany their mother on a roosting perch. Young don’t join the main adult roosts until they’re two months old. 

Crest : More than 20 bare-shafted feathers, each tipped with a “flag,” form the fanshaped crest.The female’s crest is tipped with bronzegreen rather than metallic blue. 
Feathers : All except the outermost feathers of the male’s train have iridescent “eyes.” These spots are absent from the trains of males under three years of age. 
Tail : Tail coverts, which on most birds simply overlap the base of the tail, are modified into frondlike display plumes.There are about 150 of them, some more than 5' long. 
Legs & Feet : Like most pheasants, the common peafowl has pointed spurs on the backs of its long, strong legs. 
In Flight : Despite his long train, the male is an impressively powerful flier, capable of rapid acceleration on his broad, rounded wings. 

Weight : Male 9–13 lbs.; female 6–8 lbs.
Length : Male with train 6–7'; female 36–40"
Wingspan : Male 4–5'; female 30–52"
Sexual Maturity : 3 years
Breeding Season : Varies to coincide with monsoon rains 

Pea-cock for male and pea-hen for female is most known name for peafowl. It is a national bird of india and called as "mour" in hindi.

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