peacock

a peacock with its beautiful tail

the full-grown male of the peafowl (a kind of bird – Indian peafowl (peacock) and green peafowl) whose female is called a ‘peahen’ and the baby, a ‘peachick’ – medium-sized body with glossy blue feathers on the head, chest and back, and bluish-green on the wings and tail, small head with a crest (a tuft of feathers), medium-sized pointed beak (bill), very long colourful tail; size: 3-4 feet long plus 4-5 feet-long tail, and weight: 4-6 Kg.; feeds on (eats) insects, small animals and plant matter; lives for about 20 years; 2 species found in Indian sub-continent, and 1 in the Congo basin in Africa

Note: Some people wrongly use the name ‘peacock’ for ‘peafowl’, and ‘peacock hen’ for the female of a peafowl.  It is to be remembered that ‘peacock’ is the male of the peafowl whose female is called a ‘peahen’!
Special Features:

a peacock (back) displaying its tail feathers to attract a peahen (front)

The ‘peacock’ (the male of the ‘peafowl’) is the national bird of India, Asia.

The ‘peacock’ (the male of the ‘peafowl’), along with the ‘nightingale’, is the national bird of Iran (?), Asia.

The ‘Burmese peacock or grey peacock pheasant’ is the national bird of Myanmar (old name ‘Burma’), Asia.

With its ‘train’ (of tail feathers), the peacock is the largest flying bird!

The peacock is considered a symbol of beauty and pride!

The peacock is a very colourful male bird.  It has a long tail with green-blue (peacock blue) coloured feathers, each feather with an ‘eye’ — in blue, gold, red or brown spot, which the peacock arches (spreads open), like a huge hand-fan to attract the peahens.

the eye on a feather of a peacock

It is believed that the ‘peahen’ chooses its mate, the ‘peacock’, by the number of ‘eyes’ in the tail!

There are 200 feathers in a peacock’s tail – 170 ‘eye’ feathers and 30 ‘T’ feathers!

The feathers are arranged in such a way that all the ‘eyes’ and the ‘Ts’ are shown clearly!

Each peacock drops (sheds) its long beautiful tail feathers after the mating season and grow them again before the next mating season!

Peacocks, like some other animals, are also found in complete white colour! (?)

a peacock feather head-dress

Peacocks have been mentioned in the ancient scriptures of the Hindu scriptures.Peacocks have been hunted for their meat and the colourful tail feathers, and have been kept as pets for thousands of years.

The peacock is the vehicle of Lord Murugan (Karthikeyan), one of the important deities worshipped in South India; Lord Krishna is seen wearing a tail feather of a peacock in his head-dress or crown! The peacock has a special sacred place in Buddhism and Jainism.

Tawsi Melek, the ‘peacock angel’ or ‘peacock king’, is the most important deity of the Yezidis, a clan of Kurdish religion, living in northern Iraq.

The world famous ‘peacock throne’! The throne used by the Moghal emperor, Shah Jahan, the ruler of India in the 17th century!

[The ‘peacock butterfly’, with its bright colours, is often called just a ‘peacock’!]

Figures of Speech:
1.

peacock (noun)  =  a person who shows-off; a person who walks about proudly showing off their clothes, ornaments, etc; a person who wears very bright-coloured clothes; an exhibitionist

2.

to peacock (verb)  =  to walk about proudly showing off one’s possessions; to show-off

3.

(a)  as proud as a peacock

(b)  a gaudy as a peacock (‘gaudy’ = with very bright colours)

(c)  as vain as a peacock (‘vain’ = proud)

Note: ‘Peacock’, always with a capital ‘P’, is often found in the names of people, e.g. Ray Peacock, Lee Peacock, Annie Peacock, etc. For an article that explains the origin of this word as a surname, please click here.
Return to “exhibitionist” in People & Professions.
About the Author:BC Kumar

BC Kumar, an English Language Teacher, taught in numerous countries including Ethiopia, Oman and India, shares his knowledge and passion for the English Language. Disclaimer: This is a free educational website and all content has been compiled by the author. All copyrights to images and videos belong to their respective owners.