Are you wild about birds then you must go through this article. This is about colored birds in the forests namely Peafowls & Kingfishers who are well-known for their lucrative colors. Commonly you will found these wild birds in the zoo or parks. But you will find very uncommon information about them in this article.
Trailing dazzling forest showman:
A Peafowl or A Peacock
With a rainbow-colored blue and green body and the long train of ornamental feathers that it spreads into the magnificent fan, the male common peacock is one of the world’s most spectacular game birds. These turkeys sized birds are native to the Indian subcontinent, but they have become the familiar sight in zoos, parks, and gardens around the world. It’s not unusual to hear all of these long-tailed birds described as peacocks, but that’s not the correct use of the word. Only the males of the species are peacocks. The females are properly called peahens, while young birds less than the year-old are known as peachicks. Collectively they are known as peafowl, regardless of age or gender.
Creatures of habit
In the wild, common Peafowl spends much of their time on the ground looking for food. They tend to feed in the same place each day scratching over Earth and leaf litter to uncover and feed on insects, worms, berries, grain, and seeds. They will also eat mice and small snakes including young cobras.
Look at me!
A male bird establishes the breeding territory and displays himself within it. He strides, screeches, spreads out and vibrates his magnificent tail, angling it over his head like the fan, to attract peahens. Peacock chicks and even young hens, often try spreading their tail feathers in imitation of the male. The most successful males may mate with several peahens and will maintain the group of 2 to 5 females. The peahen although colorful, does not have the long train of feathers.
The more eyespots on the peacock’s tail, the more attractive he is to potential mates.
Careless father, Solo mother
After mating the male’s Role is over, and he plays no part in nest building or raising the young. Hidden in the tall grass or deep forest cover, the peahen digs a shallow hole, lines it with leaves and lays several creamy colored eggs. After hatching, she feeds and take care of her peachicks for up to 9 weeks. During this time she teaches them to find their grub and insects.
Peacocks develop their trains of feathers at 3 years of age and shed every season between summer & winter. ( Autumn )
A Good Natured Bird!
Peafowls are sociable birds and live in the group called the “ muster “ or “ ostentation “ comprising one male and up to five females. In the mating season, the cock becomes solitary and aggressive defending his territory from rivals. Peafowl warns each other of the danger by the emitting loud, sharp cries & honks. They rest on a tall tree at night, safe from most predators, such as Leopards, Tigers, Dogs, and Foxes. When embarrassed, peafowls take flight with little noise, rising almost vertically to the treetops, although they do not fly far. Caged birds can be aggressive & do not mix well with other domestic animals.
Despite its a long train, the peacocks do not appear to obstruct during flights.
The common or Indian peafowls roles forests in India, Sri Lanka and part of Pakistan. It has also been introduced to many countries worldwide and has established a semi-wild population in some places.
- Length- Male up to 2.5 meters with train, Female 0.9 to 1.2 meters.
- Weight- 4 to 6 kg
- Wingspan- Up to 1.6 meter
- Migration- Non-migrant
- Sexual maturity- 3 years
- Breeding season- Varies to coincide with monsoon rain
- Incubation period- Around 28 days
- Number of eggs- Usually 3 to 6
- Diet- Insects, Worms, Berries, Grains, seeds, mice, & snakes.
- Lifespan- 20 to 30 years in captivity
Myth or fact?
Egyptian kings kept peacocks as pets, whereas in ancient India, they were worshiped for their ability to avoid snakes and bad luck. Peafowls are still regarded as lucky by many Hindu people and they are the symbol of the God Krishna. Alexander the Great introduced peacocks to Greece and prohibited to harm them. In the west, some people still believe that bad luck will happen to those who display peacock feathers in their home.
- Fan-shaped crest of short erect feathers appears in both sexes.
- A white band on males stretches from nostril to eye and there is the white patch below the eye.
- The long train of males comprises 150 or so feathers that cover the short tail feathers underneath. The coverts, up to 5 feet long are shade shortly after the breeding season.
- Born show off – The male’s plumage is designed to attract the mate. It also allows it to mix in with the light of forest habitat.
- The common Peafowl, like most game birds, has pointed spurs on the back of its legs for defense.
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Emperor of the river banks: Kingfisher
A blue arrow dives into the water, all buzzing wings and the flash of lustrous colors. This is often the only fleeting glimpse we catch of the common Kingfisher, but it is unmistakable. These small birds are found on river and streams throughout Europe and Asia and as far North as Finland. Their startling aquamarine and amber plumage makes them as distinctly colored as any tropical Hummingbird.
Small, swift and active, Kingfishers are also highly territorial- They defend their fishing grounds fiercely from rivals because they need to eat almost two-thirds of their body weight in fish every day. When contesting territory, Kingfishers perform the ritual display & settles some distance from each other. Usually, the dispute is resolved without combat but sometimes they lock their beaks and attempt to drown each other. Flying attacks and aerial chases are common.
The Kingfisher had the distinctive loud shrill call, which sounds like “ cheee “ It rests in dense cover near water, arriving after dark and leaving just before dawn.
The Eurasian Kingfisher is one of the few Kingfishers that feed mostly on fish. It prefers shallow water so it can pinpoint and catch fish more easily. Occasionally, when river ice over in winter, it moves to the coast where it picks crabs and mudskippers off mudflats.
A typical day’s fishing is spent sitting on an overhanging branch or hovering over the water, scanning it for fish. When the Kingfisher spots prey, it dives no more than ten inches below the surface to snatch the fish in its beak. Back on it nest, it holds its catch by the tail and hits it against the branch to kill it before swallowing it, head first. If the fish were still alive, it could extend its fins in the Kingfisher’s throat and choke it to the death.
Eurasian Kingfisher court each other in twisting, turning fights until finally the male catches the fish and presents it to the female. The pair then dig the slightly upward sloping tunnel in the river bank, taking it in turns. This tunnel can be up to one meter (3 feet) long and in end in the nest chamber where the white eggs are laid. The female start incubation but eventually the male will take over.
Hatching are naked and blind. They don’t have any down feathers, instead, their adult feathers emerge enveloped in thin tube. Until the envelope break, the chicks resemble thorny shrubs.
In the barricade
Once hunted for their decorative feathers, Kingfishers are now frequently shot, poisoned or trapped because some people think they damage to fish stocks. The destruction of their habitat is another threat. The stabilizing of river banks with concrete diminishes their nest sites, while irrigation projects, water pollution & dams reduce habitats even further.
The Eurasian Kingfisher is found in western Europe, Northern Africa, east and southeast Asia as for East as new Guinea and the Solomon Islands. In the most northerly latitudes, it flies south to avoid the winter.
- Social unit- Solitary mating pairs stay together during breeding season
- Length- 16 centimeter
- Weight- 35 grams
- Wingspan- 30 to 33 CM
- Plumage- Both sexes alike
- Migrant- Partial seasonal migrant
- Breeding period- March in Europe, August in south-east Asia
- Sexual maturity- 2 years
- Number of eggs- 5 to 8 eggs
- Incubation- 19 to 21 days
- Diet- Small fish, Insects
- Lifespan- Up to 20 years
- Blue highlights- The Kingfisher’s brilliant upper feathers seem to change from Cobalt blue to Emerald green depending on the angle and type of light. This is due to the feather’s reflective qualities rather than their pigmentation. It has few natural predators since its bright colors warn of its nasty-testing flesh.
- Polarizing filters on the eyes cut out reflection, so the bird can see into the water
- A membrane automatically covers the eye when the bird dives underwater.
- The tail is short and stubby.
- Legs and feet are small and orange.
- Underside is Amber
- Ear tufts are white
- Throat is white
- The beak is long and black. Females have red of the lower jaw.
Are you really wild about birds then you must try to protect their habitats as much as you can. This is peafowl information which habitat is on death bed. The same thing is about Kingfishers. Please take part in saving their life.
Animals give only wonders to anyone looking at them. When people are busy with their day to day work or problems, animals can bring our attention back to a simple pleasure. When you can’t find the joy in your life, turn your focus on the animals & you will be more than joyful to see their play. If you are trying to connect with the universe spiritually turn your focus to animals 7 you will get the insight.
Our spiritual wholeness is incomplete if we can’t see beyond our own species. How can we achieve the GOD’s grace if we differentiate between our own life & an animal life? After all, they are also created by GOD on the Earth. The essence of spirituality is the opening of our heart & mind to other species living in this world. This is the core of any spiritual discipline, in any tradition.
Someone has said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Animals are said to be a group of souls. They are living on this earth as a ‘ being “ & they have every right to depart this world as a “ being “ as any other “ human being “. No one can be a decision maker for them to when to die. This is against the law as well as spirituality. They should not be treated as a product. We must honor them on a soul level for their presence and wish them a good journey as they go.
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