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Peacocks are male peafowl known for their massive tail and iridescent colors. Two of the three species are native to Asia. In ancient times, Phoenicians imported peacocks to Egypt to be used as decoration.
See the fact file below for more information on the peacocks or alternatively, you can download our 28-page Peacocks worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Habitat, Anatomy and Life Cycle
- Common Name: Peacocks
- Scientific Name: Afropavo, Pavo
- Type: Birds
- Diet: Omnivores
- Group Name: Muster, Pride, Ostentation
- Asiatic Species: Blue or Indian peafowl and green peafowl
- African Species: Congo peafowl
- Average Weight: 4 to 6 kg
- Average Length: 6 to 7 ft
- Peacocks are large, colorful male peafowl belonging to the pheasant family. Their female counterparts are called peahens, and their babies are called peachicks.
- There are three species of peafowl: blue, green peafowl native to Asia, and Congo peafowl, native to parts of Africa.
- Peacocks are ground-dwelling birds, eating insects, plants, fruit, seeds, ants, flies, snakes and amphibians. They live in forests, farmland, bushland and other warm regions with easy access to low trees.
- Even though peacocks are widely seen in many Asian countries, they are dominant in India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
- Peacocks are one of the largest flying birds at 6 to 7 ft in length.
- A peacock’s head is crested with feathers creating a crown-like appearance. They have an inch-long beak adapted for preying on small creatures like insects.
- Their bodies are covered with brown feathers and an elongated tail with impressive blue and greenish feathers are found on males. A peacock’s tail makes up 60% of its entire length.
- The tail has eye-like spots with red, gold, and green feathers surrounding the eyespots.
- At any one time, peacocks can show off 200 feathers on their tails. Their iridescent feathers change color depending on the amount of light and angle. It is because of the crystal-like structures embedded in their feathers, which reflect different wavelengths of light based on their spacing.
- Their beautiful tail feathers shed after mating season.
- Despite their colorful appearance, peacocks have a loud and disruptive call.
- Peahens lay three to six eggs in a clutch. She will solely incubate them for about 29 days. Newly hatched peachicks will stay with their mothers for months, learning how to eat, groom their feathers and communicate with other peafowl. Within a year, peachicks are almost fully grown. Tails without ocelli, or characteristic eyes, appear at the age of two. After a year, peacocks become sexually active.
- Compared to peacocks, peahens mature earlier and can mate at the age of one.
- Peacocks in the wild can live for up to 20 years.
- Peacocks can fly limited distances, especially with their heavy tail. They prefer to stay on the ground.
- Peacocks have one of the loudest calls in the family of birds. As they usually make loud wailing sounds during the rainy season, they’re an indicator of the coming monsoons. They also call out in early mornings and late evenings. In times of danger and mating, peacocks make distinct sounds as well.
- Peacocks are highly social and territorial birds. They tend to be aggressive towards strangers or new peafowl entering their territory.
- They usually travel in groups of 8 to 10. Groups of peacocks are called a muster, ostentation, or pride. While a family of peafowl is called a bevy.
- The main purpose a peacock’s colorful tail trail is to attract peahens for mating. Performing a peculiar dance fascinates peahens and attracts them to mate. Some studies have shown that peacocks can fake a copulatory call in order to attract more peahens. Peahens choose a peacock based on its size, color and quantity of tail trains.
- Once mating is done, peahens will create a nest for their eggs. The male, on the other hand, will look for other peahens to mate with.
Cultural Significance of Peacocks
- Peacocks are India’s national bird. In Hinduism, it stands for knowledge, benevolence, compassion and kindness. Hindus believed that the spots on its tail are God’s eyes. Their God of War, Kartikeya, rides on a peacock.
- On the other side of the world, Goddess Hera of Greek mythology is associated with peacocks.
- For ancient Babylonians, peacocks were a symbol of guardians.
- In Christianity, peacocks are representations of everlasting life.
- According to Feng Shui, a peacock’s feathers safeguard a person from disaster.
Other Feathery Facts
- In many places around the world, peacocks are domesticated.
- There are all-white peafowl and these are considered as one of the most popular colored mutations. This mutation is called leucism, which causes loss of pigmentation but retains the bird’s eye color.
- Despite their massive tail, peacocks can fly but they cannot swim. They lack webbed feet essential for birds to swim.
- Compare to all species of peacocks, the Indian peacock is the only species that carries and flaunts splendid plumage. The other two species only have a few sets of feathers.
- Because peacocks are social birds, they need companions because being alone will make them depressed.
- In Burma, a gray peacock is their national symbol.
- During Medieval times, peacocks were roasted and re-dressed before serving on the dinner table of nobles and royalty.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about peacocks across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Peacock worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the peacocks which are male peafowl known for their massive tail and iridescent colors. Two of the three species are native to Asia. In ancient times, Phoenicians imported peacocks to Egypt to be used as decoration.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Peacock Facts
- Peacock Anatomy
- Show Off
- Types of Peafowl
- The Life Cycle
- Peafowl World
- Peacock Trivia
- Scientific Classification
- Peacock Web
- Fact or Bluff
- Peacocks Feathers
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Link will appear as Peacock Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 27, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.