Friday, August 27, 2010

Indian Peacock

The male Indian Peacock known as the peacock, the peacock is one of the much familiar birds on the earth. These large, golden brightly colored birds have a unique crest and an unique attractive train. The train (140 to 160 centimeters in length) accounts for more than 60% of their total body length (230 centimeters). Combined with a large wingspan (140 to 160 centimeters), this train makes the male peacock one of the largest flying birds in the world. The train is formed by 100-150 highly specialized upper tail-coverts. Each of these feathers sports an ornamental ocellus, or eye-spot, and has long disintegrated points, giving the feathers a loose, fluffy appearance. When displaying to a female, the peacock erects this train into a spectacular fan, displaying the ocelli to their best advantage. 

The more subtly colored female Peacock is mostly brown above with a white belly. Her decoration is limited to a prominent crest and green neck feathers. Though females (3.00 kg to 4.5 kg) weigh nearly as much as the males (4.0 kg -6.0 kg), they rarely exceed 100 centimeter in total body length.
The peacock is mostly found in the Indian sub-continent from the south and east of the Indus River, east Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, south Mizoram and the whole of the Indian peninsula. The peacock enjoys immense protection.

Distribution and Home
the Indian Peacock occurs from some places in eastern Pakistan through India, south from the Himalayas to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, it may now be extinct in that country. Its highly ornamental appearance motivated early seafarers to transplant the peacock to their homelands in other parts of the western world. Phoenician traders in the time of King Solomon (1000 B.C.) introduced the birds to present-day Syria and the Egyptian Pharaohs.
In its native India, the peacock is a creature of the open jungles and riparian underbrush. In southern India, it also prefers stream-side forests but may also be found in orchards and other cultivated areas

Indian Peacock does most of their foraging in the early morning and shortly before sunset. They retreat to the shade and security of the forest for the hottest portion of the day. Foods include insects, grains, small mammals, small reptiles, drupes, berries, wild figs, and some cultivated crops.

Conservation and History of Relationship with Man
The great beauty and popularity of the Indian Peacock has guaranteed its protection throughout most of its native and introduced ranges. It is the national bird of India. The peacock is prominent in the mythology and folklore of the Indian people. The Hindus consider the bird to be sacred because the god Kartikeya (son of the Lord Shiva and Parvati and brother to the god Ganesh) rides on its back. Legends hold that the peacock can charm snakes and addle their eggs.

Greek mythology describes how the peacock acquired the many eyes in his ornamental train. The goddess Hera had a beautiful priestess named Io. Io was greatly admired by Zeus. To protect her from Hera’s jealousy Zeus transformed Io into a heifer. Hera tricked Zeus into giving the heifer to her as a gift and set her faithful servant Argus to watch over her. Argus had numerous eyes all over his body, making him a natural choice for the assignment. Zeus sent the god Hermes to free Io from Hera’s watchman. Hermes charmed Argus to sleep until all of his eyes were closed and then killed him. To honor her faithful watchman, Hera took Argus’ eyes and placed them on the tail of the peacock.

This long and close association with humans has proven the peafowl’s adaptability to human-altered landscapes. This species does not appear to need any additional legal protection or conservation attention

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