14 July 2009

Natural Beauty

White peacocks are frequently mistaken for albinos but are a color variety of the India Blue Peacock. They don't survive long in the wild as their white plumage makes them easily seen by predators. Some people believe if they see a white peacock, they will have eternal happiness. The name white peacock is also associated with butterflies.

According to ancient Greeks, peacocks were the physical representation of Hera, Queen of the Gods. The crest (crown) on the top of their heads gives them a royal appearance. The brilliant colors and decorative "eye" of the peacock's tail feathers are this bird's trademark. An adult peacock's train of feathers can be 60" long and is nearly 60% of it's total length. The large train is used in mating rituals and courtship displays.

Peacocks are ground feeders and hunt for small animals like spiders and amphibians in tall grasses or small streams. They eat plants, flower petals and seed heads. "Peacock" is commonly used to refer to birds of both sexes although only the males are peacocks. Females are peahens, and together, they are called peafowl.

In India, the peacock is the national bird and lives in the wild as it does in Sri Lanka. The standard peacock that we see in the United States is the India Blue. There is a jungle peacock which is found in Burma, Malaysia and Java.