Beastly Beat
Indian Blue Peafowl

Indian blue peafowl have been roaming freely across the Zoo grounds for decades. Many visitors ask why the peafowl stay at the Zoo since they can fly, but the answer is simple. They stay at the Zoo for food, shelter and safety. The peafowl fly into different exhibits across the zoo for a free bite to eat, and find the sprawling limbs of the live oak tree in front of the Animal Hospital a good place to roost at night. There are also many great hiding spots for peahens to lay their nest and raise their young.

The peafowl at the Zoo can also be helpful to zoo staff. They are good alarm birds, emitting a load screaming noise, and will make their distinctive call when there is a problem like a fallen limb or a hawk in the area. If a group of peafowl is vocalizing, it is usually a good indication that there is a problem and staff will go check out the situation.

About the Peafowl
The peafowl is the national bird of India, its native country. These birds are members of the pheasant family, and can be found in dry semi-desert grasslands, scrub and deciduous forests.

Although this species is most commonly known as the peacock, only the males are true peacocks. Females are peahens and babies are peachicks. Peacocks have magnificent blue and green plumage to attract a mate, while peahens are a combination of dull gray, green, and blue in order to blend in with their surrounding and protect their nest and young.

The peacock's magnificent, flashy plumage is used in courtship displays. Males will spread their ornate tail feathers into an impressive fan to attract a female. Each year, peacocks will shed their tail feathers at the end of the breeding season in late summer.

Visitors can also see two white peacocks wandering the Zoo. The white coloration is one of several color mutations seen in the Indian blue peafowl.