One of the most extravagantly endowed birds in the World is almost common to our jungles! And because we see it often we tend to take it for granted! I feel this is a huge pity! The Peacock features regularly in most lists of top ten beautiful birds of the world!
Summer is the most amazing time to watch Peacocks..and i never get tired of watching and admiring them!
This beauty i saw on the banks of Kabini backwaters this March. He came up boldly to drink water from the river and i loved the way he lifted his tail up, so that it does not get muddy! After all he does not want to dirty his wedding suit!
This stunning male i saw in Kabini last week. There was a rival male displaying about 50 meters away and both were calling loudly and advertising to the females to come and get impressed! This male was successful in courting some females and he even mated with one!
This Peacock in Bandipur had a special copper-red tinge to his train..quite unusual i would say! But he was so stunning!
A closer view of this extremely beautiful Peacock! The eye-spots or the ocelli play an important role in the Peahens choosing the best male. Interestingly, the length of the tail is not critical but the density of the ocelli is! Bird scientist, Marion Petrie of the Whipsnade Wildlife Park, has studied their courtship behaviour extensively and concluded that there is a direct correlation between tail ornamentation, mating success and increased survivability of chicks. Adeline Loyau and others of National Museum of Natural History, in an article published in the journal Ethology, have come up with similar conclusions..they also felt that, ‘to be chosen by the females, the Peacock has to be not only beautiful but also be able to show how beautiful he is’! In other words, the courtship display (including the calls) plays a critical role in their breeding success!
In fact, i observed three Peahens walk closely past the rival displaying Peacock in Kabini..almost teasing him..stealing glances at him but seemingly ignoring him as they walk past..they repeated this three times in about 6-7 minutes! Finally, the Peacock gave up and folded up his tail feathers…and the Peahens simply walked away! It shows that persistence is indeed a quality they were also looking for, apart from the beauty!