Peafowl - Pavo cristatus
dry, open forest
Peafowl are native to southern India and Ceylon.
Peafowl are ground feeding birds with moderately strong legs. Three strong toes face forwards and one backwards. While they nest on the ground, they prefer to roost in the trees. They habitually go to roost early in tall trees, calling and bugling loudly as they move upward. Their wing surface to bodyweight ration is not large and most species are incapable of long flights.
Total body length is approximately 2.3 meters (7.5 ft.); the train is 1.4-1.6 m (4.62-5.28 feet) long and accounts for more than 60% of total body length. Females tend to be smaller than males.
Peafowl tend to live in parties or harems of around 6 or so birds.
Approximately 20-24 years
The long ornamental feathers, which the peacock displays so magnificently before the peahen in courtship, are not its true tail feathers but are elongated feathers of the upper tail coverts. In spite of its dimensions, the train does not hinder the bird either when perching or in flight.
Although peafowl were once common in Bangladesh, now they may be extinct in that country. Because of its appearance, this bird was taken worldwide! Early seafarers decided to bring the peafowl to their homelands in other parts of the western world. This method seems to have saved the bird from complete extinction. Traders in the year 1000 B.C. introduced the birds to present-day Syria and the Egyptian pharaohs. Alexander the Great imported more of the birds into his Mediterranean domains and severely penalized anyone caught harming them. Peafowl were a status symbol through Roman times and the Middle Ages, ensuring their establishment and survival throughout Europe. Fortunately, such a long and close association with humans has given peafowls an excellent chance of survival. They are of little concern on the IUCN Red List.
- In its homeland, India, where it may still be found wild in the jungles, the peacock is both popular
and useful in that it feeds on young cobras.
- It utters an unpleasant wailing cry, especially before a rainfall.
- In 1963, the peafowl was declared the national
bird of India because of its rich religious and legendary involvement in Indian
- Hindus consider this bird to be sacred because
the god Kartikeya rides on its back. Legend also says the peafowl is able to
charm snakes and addle their eggs!
- In Greek mythology, the peacock’s ornate train
became a famous tail! The goddess Hera had a faithful servant named Argus. He
had numerous eyes all over his body. When Hermes killed her watchful servant,
Hera took Argus’s eyes and placed them on the tail of the peacock to honor his
- Adult (13 and over)$9.00
- Child (3 - 12)$5.25
- Child (2 and under)Free
- Senior (65+)$8.00
We begin transferring animals to evening (off exhibit) holding at 4:30 each night.
Open Daily 10:00-5:00
Last admission at 4:30