Where Do Peacocks Live?

Where Do Peacocks Live?

Nowadays we're very used to seeing peacocks in parks and gardens in every continent apart from the Antarctic; of course, their popularity is owed to their striking plumage and easy taming. In fact, peafowl were artificially introduced to most of these areas centuries to keep as decoration.

Where do peafowl come from, then? Where can you find wild peafowl? To clarify all your doubts on the issue, we at AnimalWised will tell you where do peacocks live. Keep reading!

The Asian origin of wild peafowl

First of all, we must specify that the general term is "peafowl". "Peacocks" are the males, the ones with the bright colors and huge, majestic tails; females are called "peahens".

So where do peafowl come from, originally?

There are two species of peafowl, both of them native to South Asia. The blue peacock (Pavo cristatus) comes originally from India and the island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) - they're so important there that they have become the national bird of India. Wild peafowl are mainly found across the Indian subcontinent. However, the probability of finding groups of wild peacocks is not restricted to that geographical area, but rather throughout the habitat in which the species can thrive.

The green peacock (Pavo muticus), on the other hand, inhabits more Eastern areas. They are found in the wild in India, but also in Myanmar, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Java. Their habitat is more tropical than that of the blue peacock; it has been widely destroyed and reduced, which is why the green peafowl is an endangered species.

When we find wild peafowl in other habitats, they're probably feral. That is, they were probably raised by humans but have become wild.

Peafowl eat berries, seeds, tender buds, insects and even small reptiles - generally snakes. Taking into account their omnivorous diet, they're a versatile and adaptable species.

In search of a suitable habitat

Peafowl need to live in forests at an altitude of no more than 2000 meters (6500 feet) above sea level. They prefer deciduous forests and open forest areas and can adapt to various habitats, ranging from rainforests to dry forests. There are even peacocks which have adapted to living near farming areas, and tolerate human presence well.

Peafowl use tree branches as resting places, which offer protection from some of their natural predators. Peacocks also need to have some water nearby, where they mainly go to drink during the mornings.

Peafowl cannot live in cold climates, and their health can be seriously compromised if temperatures go below 0º C (32º F). You need to take into account that peafowl nest at ground level.

Peafowl are gregarious birds

Peafowl live in small groups which either consist of peacocks, or of adult peahens and their young. These groups must share territory for obvious reasons. Namely, so that they can come across each other during mating season, in which male peacocks compete between themselves with dances that end with the tail feathers being spread in an explosion of color.

Types of peafowl

We have already discussed the two different peafowl species, blue and green. By far, the former is more widespread. The color refers to the plumage of the head and body. In both cases, the genes that determine these colors are dominant. Peahen are usually more toned down; blue peahens are grey and brown, and while green peahens are still similar to peacocks, they are slightly more muted and smaller.

White peacocks and other varieties occur as a result of recessive genes. They're rare, which is why controlled breeding is required produce more of them. This condition, in which pigmentation is partially lost, is called "leucism". As with most other white or albino animals, the white peacock is easy to prey on for its natural predators in the natural environment, because it's unable to blend in with its environment.

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