Why are peacocks such show-offs?

Our national bird, the most prized possession of the country; the peacock is a beautiful sight to behold. A muse for so many artists and poets, the peacock mesmerises its viewers with its extremely colourful and vibrant set of feathers; shining bright with hues like royal blue, gold, bright green and so much more!

A peacock fans out its feathers especially when it rains. It dances out in glee when it pours down heavily. A rare visual that it is, the peacock however is said to do so to attract and win mates.

Doubtful? Read on to know more.


Beauty Of Feathers

It is interesting to note that it is the peacock (male) and not the peahen (female) which has those beautiful feathers to fan out. This is very surprising amidst the common notion, where the females of most living beings are the ones showcasing their beauty.

With this in mind, it becomes easier to understand as to why do the peacocks display their feathers in full view. The simple reason for this is in order to attract females!

Yes, just like most male birds, the peacocks to displays its beautiful possession of feathers such that the passing female peahen may get attracted and be mates with it. The peahens on the other hand, choose their mates by judging the peacocks based on the size and colour of the feathers.

Eyes On Feathers?

Ever wondered what those eye-like designs on the peacock feather stands for?

Well, these eye-like designs are simply a parameter that essentially attracts the peahen’s attention to a peacock. The more widely spread feathers along with an impressive colour and number of eye-designs helps the females to choose their best mate. The peacocks thus especially turn their sides in a way that these eye-designs are in full view of the peahen.

Its At The Back!

The position of the feathers is not ideally at the tail of the peacock. This means that when the feathers are not fanned out, they are stacked together up on the tail, but when spread out, it can be easily spotted that those emerge from a specific position in the back of the bird.

These feathers grow as a natural characteristics of the peacock, that is further used as a show-off prop to attract and win female peahens.

Display Area

The fanning out of a peacock’s feathers takes up a lot of space. There are  total of around 100 to 150 number of feathers approximately on each peacock. Though these feathers are a characteristic feature of a peacock, however they do not grow these right from birth, but however develop it gradually after some years.

The structure of the peacock is usually long, and hence their feathers can have a height of about 2m length wise. Clearly the length of these long feathers surpasses that of the bird itself, and hence these feather stand tall and make it possible to spot the bird easily from a great distance as well.

What’s Those Stalks?

Apart from the feathers, one other important aspect is the stalk or shaft that holds them together as they originate from the body of the peacock. These shafts are white in colour,  and this makes it a striking appearance among the dense green and blue feathers.

In all, such a contrast of white in between the already vibrant hues of the feathers makes the feathers appear more beautiful than ever!


The females of this bird are known as the peahen. Despite it being a female, a peahen is not so beautiful as the peacocks, primarily because they do not have those beautiful feathers. The peahen is dull-coloured, and hence are the least sought after by their predators. They choose their mates on the basis of their beauty, and are responsible to look after the eggs and the young pea-fowls.


  • Peacocks can still fly at a certain height, despite the considerable weight of their feathers!
  • While display is a certain attribute of male species to attract females, however it is not the same for the animal gorilla. It beats and thumps its chest in full display in order to scare away the enemies!

Related Questions:

  1. List out the national species of the country.
  2. What is the most adaptable landscape for a peacock?
  3. What is the food habit of a peacock?

Objective Questions:

  • _______ are less beautiful than the peacocks.
  • Peacocks can _____ as well.
  • Feathers of a peacock are fanned out especially in the _____ season.
  • The average length of a peacock feather is around _______.
  • ______ designs on the feathers help to attract females.

True Or False:

  1. Peacock is our national bird: ______
  2. Peahens also have feathers: _______
  3. Shafts of the feathers are white in colour: ______
  4. Feathers of a peacock is simply green in colour:______
  5. Peacocks dance to attract females: ______

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