Peacock – Proud Bird
Peacocks live in the wild in Southeast Asia and belong to the pheasant family. Two important kinds of peacocks are the green peacock and the blue peacock. The green peacock is found from Myanmar to Java. The blue is found in India and Sri Lanka. They also can be seen in zoos around the world. Peacocks usually live in lowland forests. At night they sleep in trees.
A peacock’s feathers are brilliant shades of bronze, blue, green, and gold. At the tip of each tail feather is a big shiny spot ringed with blue and bronze that looks like an eye. The male’s body is about 90 to 130 centimeters long. Its tail is about 150 centimeters long. Peahens, female peacocks, do not have long tails. They are green and brown in color and almost as big as the males.
To attract a female, peacocks lift their tails and spread them like a fan. They then strut about and shake the tails, making the feathers shimmer and rustle.
The peacock runs well and, despite its huge tail, it makes its way among dense thickets of bushes.
In ancient time people kept peacocks at home. The ancient Greeks called the peacock Hera’s bird. In their religion, Hera was the wife of Zeus, the god of sky and weather. She was thought of as the queen of heaven. According to an old story, the eyelike markings on peacock feathers were the 100 eyes of the giant Argus.
In ancient Rome the peacock was the emblem of the empresses and their daughters and was depicted on coins. In China, the peacock symbolized dignity and beauty. The peacock’s feather was given to a person when receiving a high rank for merit and meant the favor of the emperor.
In India, a peacock is allowed to walk wherever it wants, because these birds are wonderful hunters for snakes.
In Islam the peacock’s eye is associated with the Heart’s Eye, and the symbol of the unity of opposites (sun and moon) is the image of two peacocks.
Usually so-called peacock songs can be heard before a thunderstorm or the beginning of a monsoon. That is, their cries are associated with rain. Therefore, the Indians still believe that these sacred birds call for precipitation.
In the deaf jungle, the peacock is the chief watchman who is informing about the predators’ approach in advance.
Peacocks live about 20 years.