Blue peacock is regarded as one of the most beautiful birds throughout the world. It is also the National Bird of the Indian subcontinent. Peacock is the name given to a male peafowl, while the female is known as Peahen. Scientifically known as Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), the Peafowl of India is a swan-sized bird, with a long and slender neck. It is a forest bird, which usually stay on the ground. However, while roosting, it prefers to stay on trees.
One of the most unique as well as distinctive features of the Blue
peacocks is their beautiful train, comprising of tail feathers. The
train is 1.4-1.6 m long, measuring more than 60 percent of the body
length. It comprises of 100-150 highly specialized upper tail coverts.
Whenever a peacock wants to attract a peahen, it erects the train into a
fabulous fan. The entire body length of the Indian peacocks averages
around 2.3 m and the wingspan is around 1.4-1.6 m long. Their weight
hovers around 4.0 to 6.0 kg.
Indian peahen is almost brown in color, with the only exception being
its white belly. The sole embellishment adorning the peahen is its
prominent crest and the green neck feathers. Peahens are shorter than
peacocks and measure not more than 1 m in length. Their weight is
somewhere between 2.75 and 4.0 kg. The peacock as well as the peahen has
a white patch under the eyes.
Peafowl can be found inhabiting open forests and riparian undergrowth
in the India subcontinent. In southern regions, it can also seen in
streamside forests, orchards and other cultivated areas.
The geographical location of the Blue peafowl stretches on from eastern
Pakistan through India and from the Himalayas to Sri Lanka. It is
believed that the bird has become extinct in Bangladesh. In India, the
area inhabited by the peafowl extends from the south and east of the
Indus River, Jammu and Kashmir, east Assam, south Mizoram and the whole
of the Indian peninsula.
Indian Blue peacock is polygamous by nature and can mate with upto six
peahens at a time. The number of eggs laid falls between four and eight
and the incubation period lasts for around 28 days. The eggs are usually
laid in the afternoon and are light brown in color.
Blue Peacock is omnivorous and primarily consumes grains, insects,
small reptiles, small mammals, berries, drupes, wild figs and some of
the cultivated crops. One can find them foraging either early in the
morning or just before sunset.
Blue peacock has been provided with adequate safety. It has been fully
protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.