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Animal Detail ViewՄանրամասն` նրանց մասին

04.02.2014

White Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)


Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class:   Aves

Order: Galliformes

Family: Phasianidae

Subfamily: Phasianinae

Genus: Pavo

Species: P. cristatus

Binomial name: Pavo cristatus

Description

Peafowl are native to India, Burma, Java. Ceylon, Malaya and Congo. Peafowl are relatives of pheasants. The main difference between peafowl and pheasants is in the plumage. Peafowl are very hardy birds and with proper care, can live forty to fifty years. The term 'peafowl" refers to the species name. The male is called the peacock and the female is called the peahen. Offspring under the age of one year are called peachicks.

The peacock is a large bird with a length from bill to tail of 100 to 115 cm and to the end of a fully grown train as much as 195 to 225 cm and weigh 4–6 kg. The females, or peahens, are smaller at around 95 cm in length and weigh 2.75–4 kg.

White peacocks are not albinos. Albino animals and birds have a complete lack of color and red or pink eyes. White peafowl have blue eyes. The white color appears in other domestically bred peafowl but in different quantities. Chicks are born yellow and become white as they mature, according to the Peafowl Varieties Database.

Range and Habitat

The White Peafowl is a resident breeder across the Indian Subcontinent and is found in the drier lowland areas of Sri Lanka. In South Asia, it is found mainly below an altitude of 1800 m and in rare cases seen at about 2000m. It is found in moist and dry-deciduous forests, but can adapt to live in cultivated regions and around human habitations and is usually found where water is available. In many parts of northern India, they are protected by religious sentiment and will forage around villages and towns for scraps. Some have suggested that the peacock was introduced into Europe by Alexander the Great while others suggest that the bird had reached Athens by 450 BC and may have been introduced even earlier. It has since been introduced in many other parts of the world and has become feral in some areas.

Behavior

White peafowl require a lot of water to drink, but will not bathe in water because it weighs down their feathers. If their feathers do get wet, they wait in a safe location until they are dry. Instead of water baths, they take dust baths which help to get rid of any parasites or bugs. Peafowl spend a lot of time preening their feathers, especially the males whose mating success is very reliant on their displays.

Diet

Peafowl are omnivorous and eat seeds, insects, fruits, small mammals and reptiles. They feed on small snakes but keep their distance from larger ones. Around cultivated areas, peafowl feed on a wide range of crops such as groundnut, tomato, paddy, chilly and even bananas. Around human habitations, they feed on a variety of food scraps and even human excreta.

Reproduction

Peafowl normally reach breeding age at two years. The peak season in southern India is April to May, January to March in Sri Lanka and June in northern India. A mature peacock in prime condition can be mated to as many as five peahens.

In their natural habitat the peafowl’s nest is a shallow scrape in the ground lined with leaves, sticks and other debris. Those nests are many times destroyed by possums, raccoons, and skunks which will eat the eggs. Peahens that are setting on these nests are vulnerable to attack by coyotes, fox, and stray dogs which will kill the peahen. Peahens which are kept in flight pens will use old tires, wooden nest boxes, and empty barrels for nest sites. These structures should be filled with hay or straw to provide nesting material.

Peahens begin laying eggs in April and will lay eggs every other day until a clutch of four to ten eggs is achieved. The eggs are light brown in color and are similar in size to turkey eggs. The eggs are incubated only by the female. The eggs take about 28 days to hatch. The chicks are nidifugous and follow the mother around after hatching.

Conservation Status

Listed in the IUCN Red List as Least Concern species.

 

 



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