The blue peafowl females are 86 cm in length, while the male measure up to 2.1 m during the breeding season (most of which is tail). The peacock has iridescent blue-green plumage with elongated tail feathers, each of which has an ‘eye’ on it. He uses these bright colours to help attract mates during the mating, but they also serve to make him more obvious to predators (obviously not enhancing his survival abilities). This ‘hindrance’ for the male is an excellent example of sexual selection, which doesn’t always select for the best survivor, but will select for the most prodigious. Peahens, on the other hand, are mostly brown, which is handy in camouflaging them while they sit on the nests. Male peafowl also have spurs on the backs of their long legs that they will use occasionally during the mating season. Peafowl do have wings and can, in fact, fly. They just don’t do it very often.
Photo taken at the Calgary Zoo, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XSi
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