1 What's going on at the peafowl palace?
2 Now that the weather is warming up, these youngsters are venturing out of their coop! It's caused quite a bit of excitement around the farm.
3 Peafowl are members of the pheasant family. There are two Asiatic species - the blue or Indian peafowl native to India and Sri Lanka, and the green peafowl originally from Java and Burma, and one African species, the Congo peafowl from African rain forests.
4 Full grown, peafowl can weigh up to 13-pounds, and peacocks with their majestic trains can reach body lengths of more than five feet. And, when peafowl feel uncomfortable or threatened, they may ruffle up their neck feathers to look even bigger and more menacing.
5 Both male and female peafowl have a fan-shaped crest on their heads called a corona. If you look closely at the top of this bird's head, you can see the crest just sprouting. It may take up to one year for a corona to reach full size.
6 Peafowl are very smart, docile and adaptable birds that rarely ever stray from their home territories.
7 Peafowl are pretty social and curious animals. Yearling peafowl act much like teenagers - they play, pester each other and love to explore if allowed.
8 Peachicks molt their feathers several times during their first year. Once they are adults, their body feathers are shed and replaced at a much slower pace - only about a third to a half of their feathers annually.
9 Peafowl have such expressive eyes. Many of them have dark brown colored eyes; however, they can also have dark blue, lighter blue or hazel colored eyes.
10 A peafowl's legs are very strong. They have three toes on each foot facing forward, and one facing backwards. They also have sharp, powerful metatarsal spurs that are used for defense. On this young bird, you can just see the spur starting to develop on the left leg.
11 While peafowl are ground feeders and ground nesters, they still enjoy roosting at higher levels. In the wild, this keeps them safe from predators at night.
12 Technically, only the males are peacocks. The females are peahens, and both are peafowl. Babies are peachicks. And, a family of peafowl is called a bevy.
13 Do you know... a group of peafowl is often called a party, a muster or an ostentation?
14 As peachicks get to be yearlings, their individual personalities become more evident. Some will be more tame and more friendly than others.
15 These young peafowl have beautiful feathering and are alert and curious - I'm so pleased they're healthy and happy at the farm.
16 Peafowl will peck at each other, so it is important to keep an eye on their feathers and behaviors in case intervention is needed.
17 These peafowl are still less than a year old. A peacock doesn't grow its first train until three. And even then, it won't be full grown or have showy ocelli. The train gets longer and more elaborate every year until five or six years old when it reaches maximum splendor.
18 Peafowl are ground feeders. They do most of their foraging in the early morning and evening. As omnivores, they eat insects, plants, grains and small creatures.
19 As beautiful as peafowl are, they don't make very melodious sounds. Peafowl have 11 different calls, with most of the vocalizing made by the peacocks. And, with their sharp eyesight, peafowl are quick to see predators and call out alarms.
20 Peafowl have acute hearing too, but can be poor at discerning from what direction certain sounds originate.
21 Peafowl can be quite clever, especially when recognizing who their regular feeder is. It is not unusual for peafowl to run en masse when the food appears.
22 Peafowl are very hardy birds, and even though they are native to warm climates, they do very well in cold weather as long as they have access to dry perches away from strong winds.
23 Peafowl are happiest when living in small groups. They can fly short distances, but prefer to walk most of the time.
24 Peacocks are polygamous and usually form harems of two to five peahens each mating season, which runs from about April to August.
25 At top speed, peafowl can run at about 10-miles per hour.
26 As peacocks mature, their necks turn more and more peacock blue and iridescent.
27 Peafowl will look at you in the eye; however, if you stare at them or seem aggressive in your body movements, these birds will feel threatened. If you are near peafowl, talk softly and keep your eyes averted - this tells them you are not a predator.
28 These birds will spend most of their days outdoors, but at night they still enjoy being in their coop where it is warm and cozy.
29 Do you ever wonder what makes the peafowl's feathers so iridescent? Their feathers, especially those in the peacock's showy tail, look different every time because of the angles at which light reflects on them.
30 And, finally the sight we've all been waiting for - the fanning of tail feathers. This is just a youngster - its long, iridescent tail feathers won't fully appear until the bird is five or six years old, but he's practicing!