Indian blue peacock at Waikiki Zoo, Honolulu

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This is an Indian blue peacock bred in captivity at the Waikiki Zoo, located in Queen Kapiolani Park in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

The Indian blue peafowl is a fairly large bird of the pheasant family ‘Phasianidae’ having 138 species in 38 genera, consisting of pheasants and partridges, including the jungle fowl (includes the domesticated chicken), francolins, monals, Old World quail, grouse, guinea fowls and turkeys.

The term peafowl refers to three species: Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) that breeds from Burma east to Java, and the African Congo Peafowl (Afropavo congensis), which belongs to its own genus Afropavo (not Pavo).

The males and females of the first two, also called the Asian Peafowl, are generally called peacocks and peahens, and both of them almost look more or less similar. But the adult Congo Peafowl (Afropavo congensis) look quite different from the adult Asian Peafowl and similar to immature Asian Peafowl.

The Indian blue peafowl is native to the Indian subcontinent and they are naturally distributed throughout South Asia, and now bred in captivity in most zoological parks and botanical gardens throughout the world.

The male (peacock) Indian Peafowl has iridescent blue or blue-green colored plumage. The peacock’s tail (train) is not actually the tail feathers but they are very long upper tail coverts. Birds of both the Asian peafowl species have crests on their heads.

The plumage of the female Indian Peafowl (peahen) is not as attractive as the plumage of the male. The color of the Indian peahen’s plumage is a mosaic or mixture of brown, dull green and grey colors. It does not have the long upper tail coverts of the male.

In the case of the Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus), also known as the Javan Peafowl, peacocks and peahens are quite similar in appearance, and mostly it is quite difficult to distinguish the males from the females. Both males and females have tall pointed crests, they are heavy-winged and long-tailed.

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