Indian Peacock

A Majestic Bird

Facts About the Indian Peacock

The Indian peacock, also known as the blue peacock, is an omnivorous bird. They live in large herds in open forests in India or Sri Lanka. They eat insects, grain, parts of plants, seed heads, small reptiles, berries, and other amphibians. Their predators are tigers, cheetahs, or other large cats. The average weights for these birds are around 8.75 - 13 lbs. The train is the upper tail covert feathers of a male peacock. The female peacocks don't have a train. The train itself can take up more than 40% of the overall body of the peacock. The average lifespan for the blue peacock is 20 years but it only takes 8 - 10 months to mature.


DID YOU KNOW?

Peacocks can fly! However, they can only fly for very short distances.

Peacock's Feathers

Peacock feathers are one of nature's beautiful gifts to mankind. The feathers have eye markings on it that are purple, blue, gold, and green. When the train is spread out, it is clearly spotted with these markings. The fully stretched feathers arch over the back of the peacock and touch the ground on either side of the bird. This magnificent display has a purpose. The males will show their feathers to attract the females. They will also shake their feathers to produce a rattling noise, also to grab the female's attention. Females choose their mates by the size, color, and the quality of the feathers. Every male peacock will have some 200 feathers and some can be as long as 60 inches long! The feather also has some spiritual meaning. It is said that if feathers are burnt, they will ward off disease. Also if kept indoors, they will bring bad luck. Some people don't believe this and think that this superposition was made in order to prevent people from eating this bird and protect the peacock from extinction.

Indian Peacock's Symbolism

The Indian peacock symbolizes grace, joy, beauty, and love. In Hinduism, the god of the Thunder, the Rains, and War is Indra. Indra is depicted as a peacock. In south India, it is a little different. The peacock is known as a "vahana" or the vehicle of Lord Murga. The peacock is a sacred bird in India and hunting the bird is banned. However, this bird was once bred for food, but now they are protected by religious beliefs and by law. They were given this protection under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. It is believed when a peacock spreads its tail feather , or train, and starts to dance in a rhythmic fashion that rain is coming. This belief does have a grain of truth in it. When a peacock sees dark clouds, it will spread is feathers and start to dance. The dance movements of the peacock has been incorporated in most Indian folklore, including the Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam. With all this attention given to this bird, its probably obvious what the national bird of India is, the Peacock.

DID YOU KNOW?

A chick peacock can walk, drink, eat on its own even when its only one day old.


Bibliography

National Geographic: Peacock

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/peacock/

Global Psychics: Peacock Feathers, Superstition, or Not?: November 19, 2008

http://www.globalpsychics.com/peacock-feathers-superstition-or-not/

Lifestyle Lounge: Facts About Peacock

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-peacock-1783.html

India Jungle Tours: Indian Peacock

http://www.indiajungletours.com/indian-peacock.html

Bio Expedition: Peacock

http://bioexpedition.com/peacock/

India Facts: The National Bird of India

http://www.indif.com/india/national_symbols/national_bird.asp

Animal Planet: Peacock

http://animal.discovery.com/birds/peacock-info.htm