Most people recognize the long iridescent plumes and stunning fanned tail of a peacock, though few may know the species name, Indian Peafowl. The aptly-designated national bird is a common sight on our India trips, and always a crowd-pleaser.
This large, stately bird is a terrestrial feeder, inhabiting deciduous forests. It’s a pleasure to observe them meandering through the undergrowth in search of insects, seeds, berries and the occasional lizard tasty morsels. Even better to hear their piercing, two-noted alarm calls, alerting us to the exciting possibility of a nearby tiger!
During the breeding season, male peacocks stake out small territories known as leks, where they strive to attract females. The expression “proud as a peacock” comes from the impressive courtship displays of peacocks strutting their stuff! Their iconic fanned tails are not really tails at all, but 5-foot long uppertail coverts tipped with iridescent eyespots that number as many as 200 feathers. We look forward to seeing many Indian Peafowls on our trip to India, along with many other colorful, eye-catching species.
– Adrian Binns
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