Courtship display of the Indian Peafowl

on 11th January 2018

PeafowlI [MeLinKhoo]

MeiLin Khoo came across a courting pair of Indian Peafowls (Pavo cristatus) at Siloso Point, Sentosa on 23rd December 2017. These attractive birds are native to Pakistan through most of India to Sri Lanka. Some decades ago these free-ranging birds were introduced to the tourist island of Sentosa and since then the population has increased LINK. Obviously, they have been successfully breeding through the years LINK.

PeafowlI [MeLinKhoo]

The male, commonly known as a peacock, has extravagant blue-green plumage that plays an important role in courtship. The tail feathers spread out in a distinctive train that is more than 60% of the total body length. Each feather is decorated with colourful “eyes” of blue, gold, red and other hues LINK.

PeafowlI [MeLinKhoo]

During courtship display these tail feathers are arched into a magnificent fan to signal to the females that he is ready to mate. The male struts around, turns its back to the female to expose the white feather shafts, rustles them and turn around again to face the female to dazzle her with his impressive fan studded with large colourful eyes.

The females, known as peahens, are believed to choose their mates according to the size and colour of these feathers. And possibly, the more the eye-spots, the chances of mating with females increases.

MeiLin Khoo
23rd December 2017

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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