Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Peacock, any individual of the genus Pavo, Eastern Game Birds, with the bill of moderate length, the head crested, the wings rather short, the tail long, the upper coverts very long, and extending beyond the tail feathers. There are two species - P. cristatus, which has long been domesticated; and P. muticus, the Javan Peacock. Some authorities count a third (P. nigripennis), while others consider it a mere variety. The domestic peacock is a native of India, where it occurs in large flocks. Its splendid plumage is too well known to need description; but it should be noted that the "peacock feathers" used by the male'in his display and by man for decorative purposes are those of the upper tail-coverts, not of the tail. In these feathers the webs are separate for the greater part of the length, but united at the end, where there is an eye-like spot. The colours are chiefly greenish-blue and gold, brilliantly iridescent. The female bird is smaller and less gorgeously feathered than the male, and carries no train. These birds are now kept chiefly for display, though the flesh was formerly held in high esteem.