Last Reviewed and Updated on July 3, 2022
Did you know that the male peacock’s tail feathers are called a “train?” Or that the word peacock only refers to the male of the species and the correct term is actually peafowl? Learn more interesting facts about peacocks and peahens, one of the most beautiful birds out there.
1. Peacock is a term for a male peafowl
Conversationally we call these animals peacocks, however, the term peacock only applies to the male of these bird species. The proper name is the peafowl. The females of the peafowl species are called peahens.
2. Peacocks have colorful feathers, female peafowl do not
Only the males of the species have the colorful feathers these birds are most known for. Peahens are dull in comparison, both in color and tail size.
3. Female peafowl have shorter tail feathers than peacocks
One of the most striking features of peacocks is their colorful tails. They can reach an impressive length of up to 75 inches / 2 meters. The tails of peahens are more than 10 times shorter.
4. Peacocks are born without colorful tail feathers
When they are born, the peacocks and peahens look very alike with the only notable difference being their leg length. They will be hard to tell apart for months and the closer they are to reaching their first year of life the more differences in feathers will start showing. Their tails will start becoming longer.
Most peacocks will fully develop their looks by the age of 3.
5. Peacock’s tail is also known as a train
You won’t be wrong if you call it a tail but you can also call it a train. Adult peacocks have over 150 long colorful feathers on their train.
Their feathers are popular and thankfully can be obtained without harming the animal as they shed all of their tail feathers naturally each year.
6. Peafowls can fly
You will see them walking on the ground most of the time so it’s easy to imagine these birds don’t fly. But as with most birds, peafowl is capable of flight. They just don’t do it very often and they aren’t exactly graceful when they do. They also won’t fly long distances. These birds are made for walking.
7. Female peafowls are called peahens and baby birds are called peachicks
You already know the females are called peahens. Babies have the cutest name though, they are little cute peachicks. While the name makes sense in the bird family – just think about chickens, the pea-chick name is way too adorable.
8. Peafowls can be fully white and it’s not due to albinism
This is one of the most fascinating facts about peacocks and peahens. Observing white specimens in many species isn’t uncommon and it’s usually due to albinism, a genetic disorder where the production of color pigments is smaller or nonexisting.
While albino peafowls do occur, the white-colored peafowls usually have a mutation called Leucism. Leucism is seen in Indian Blue peafowls, they still produce pigment but the pigment isn’t deposited in their feathers, making them white. White peafowls are rare.
9. Their closest relatives are pheasants
You might not be able to observe a peacock in the wild unless you are in India or some other parts of Asia or in the Congo basin in Africa. You are more likely to see their closest relative in the wild though, the pheasant. While not as striking as peafowl, the pheasant has impressive and colorful feathers to show as well.
10. A group peacock (peafowl) is called ostentation or a pride
Since they are pretty social birds, seeing a group of them is very likely.
We hope you enjoyed these fun facts about peacocks and peahens.