With their enormous fan-shaped tails and their colourful eye-catching feathers, it is difficult to imagine a peacock ever trying to hide. Peafowl have been introduced to many countries and roam under supervision of humans, keeping them safe from their natural predators. But these birds do have a number of predators in their native habitat including wild dogs, raccoons and even tigers. There are only three species of peafowl – the Indian peafowl, the green peafowl and the Congo peacock – and they are all members of the pheasant family.
Being so brightly coloured, these birds have several adaptations to help them avoid predators. The feathered tail is the most prominent feature of a peafowl, and whipping out this tail when approached can scare a predator away. At night peafowl roost in groups in high branches of leafy trees to protect themselves. Some peafowl even return to the same safe roosting site every night where they can sleep undisturbed.
Peahens (female peafowl) lay between three and eight eggs at a time and it is important to protect these from carnivores such as foxes and other egg snatchers. Their nests are built in isolated areas in thick, leafy bushes using dried gasses and twigs as camouflage to shield young peafowl from view. Peahens will also communicate with neighbouring birds to announce the presence of a predator, so other females can escape unharmed with their young.
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