The Peacock

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By Sonia Dhami


When strutting their stuff, peacocks look less like birds and more like lawn ornaments. The male peafowl, or peacock, knows how to show off what he’s got, and he’s got a lot. With an iridescent blue body and multicolored tail feathers ending with colorful “eyes,” it is believed that females — also called peahens — choose their partners on the basis of the size, color and quality of these magnificent displays. Females are more subdued in color, a necessary adaptation for blending into the scenery while caring for their young, as the males share no interest in the rearing duties.

Peacocks are ground feeders. They hunt for small animals, like spiders, reptiles and amphibians, in tall grasses and minnows in shallow streams. They also eat plant parts, such as flower petals and seed heads. At night, they will perch in the tops of trees to avoid run-ins with predators.
Peacocks are found all over Asia and Africa. They hold special significance in many cultures. It is a symbol of eternal life in Christianity while Persians associate it as a symbol of royalty. The Holy book of the Sikhs “The Sri Guru Granth Sahib” mentions the Peacock for its melodious song and graceful dancing in the rainy season during the Monsoons.

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