Green peafowl

The large forest bird is amongst the largest Galliformes; can hunt venomous snakes!

William Stephens

A magnificent bird native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. This species is closely related to the more widely recognized Indian Peafowl but can be distinguished by its green and copper plumage and the geographical range it occupies. Unlike its relative, the green peafowl exhibits less sexual dimorphism, with both sexes sharing a similar appearance, although males are typically more vibrant and have longer trains.

The facial skin of the green peafowl is a distinctive feature, marked by a double stripe of bare skin and a crest of feathers on top of the head. The long and ornate upper tail coverts, much longer than the actual tail, boast eye-catching ocelli and can be fanned out in a display similar to the Indian peafowl. These displays are less about attracting mates and more about asserting dominance or deterring predators.

Green peafowls are strong flyers, a trait that is uncommon among large ground-dwelling birds. They prefer habitats near water sources, such as streams, rivers, and lakes, where they can forage for their diet of insects, plants, and small animals. They typically roost in trees at night to avoid predators.

In the wild, green peafowls are polygynous, meaning that a single male may mate with several females. The females are solely responsible for nesting and raising the young, building nests on the ground where they lay, and incubating their eggs. In captivity, however, these birds often exhibit monogamous pairings, with both the male and female participating in caring for the offspring.

Green peafowls face significant threats in the wild. Their status as an “Endangered” species reflects the rapid decline of their populations, primarily due to habitat loss. Deforestation for timber extraction and agricultural expansion has fragmented their habitat, severely impacting their numbers. Additionally, hunting and poaching for feathers and meat and use in traditional medicine continue to reduce their populations.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Bangladesh
0
Official estimate
EX
2018
Extinct locally
Cambodia
EN
2018
China
EN
2018
India
0
Official estimate
EX
2018
Extinct locally
Indonesia
EN
2018
Laos
EN
2018
Malaysia
0
Official estimate
EX
2018
Extinct locally
Myanmar
EN
2018
Thailand
EN
2018
Vietnam
EN
2018

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No