The Peacock

   Peacock is the name for the male peafowl. The peafowl is related to other fowl, such as quails, pheasants, and chickens. Almost all zoos have peacocks, many wandering free, because they are easily domesticated and very beautiful.
   The peacock of India and Malaya is a large green and blue bird with long naked legs and a small crested head. A distant cousin discovered recently in the Congo is glossy black with a white tuft in its crown.
   Wild peacocks live in groups in open forests, roosting at night in trees. The male courtship display consists of raising the upper long tail coverts into a fan which reaches the ground on both sides. The feather surfaces are covered with many thin layers of horn which reflect and refract light, making the colors iridescent. Yellowish spots add to the beauty. These tail coverts develop in the male's third year. Each male has a harem of two to five smaller and duller females. The buff-colored eggs are laid in a crude nest on the ground.