Species | Indian peafowl
The Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus), or alternatively blue peafowl or common peafowl is the larger member of its genus. The tail feathers of a peacock can reach lengths of 1.8 metres, and make up to 60% of their body weight. Despite that, they are capable of flight, if not very far.
Peafowls are omnivorous birds that feed on seeds, insects, fruits and even small mammals or reptiles. They are known to feed on small snakes, while keeping their distance from larger ones. Apart from their natural diet, they also feed on human waste, including human excreta.
A 2014 study suggests that Indian peafowls are not only pretty to look at, but also fairly intelligent. When peacocks mate with peahens, they give out a loud “copulatory call”. It was found, that males can fake this call in order to attract more females. By pretending to be mating, when truly they are not, the birds can convince females that they are more sexually active than their rivals - suggesting that they genetically fitter.
Photo credits: Connal, Shadesofgrey
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Birds and symbolism
Raven: As a result of its appearance, the way it vocalises and even its feeding manners, the raven is commonly associated with loss or an ill omen. To be kept in mind is that cultures over different periods of time in various parts of the world have differing ideas of what a raven might mean. For some a raven means death, to others it means wisdom.
This concept applies to all of the following birds.
Owl: Despite being not very smart birds themselves, owls often symbolise wisdom and fierce intelligence, but also magic and regal science. Other interpretations of what an owl might mean are death, endurance and honour.
Dove: It is a well known fact that doves, especially white doves, are symbols of peace and purity. Though apart from that they also symbolise new beginnings, faith, devotion and beauty.
Heron: Herons commonly symbolise stillness, patience and tranquillity, as well as the importance of those things when recognising opportunities. A heron may also mean determination as “there will be plenty of marshes and ponds hat you will wade through in life as well”.
Peacock: The peacock is a symbol of integrity or the beauty that we can achieve when we endeavour our true colours. In many different cultures, legends made peacocks to a symbol of nobility, holiness, guidance, protection and even watchfulness.
Eagle: Eagles symbolise power and resilience as well as rebirth, dawn and renewed life. Specifically the bald eagle may also be a symbol of freedom to many US-Americans. It is also their national bird.
Hawk: Much like many other birds of prey, hawks symbolise keen-vision and strength, but to some a hawk may even symbolise a challenge, a warning, danger or the truth. Other meanings include hunting and warefare, which both are things assigned by humans to hawk since ancient times.
Cardinal: Cardinals, specifically red cardinals, may represent devotion, loving relationships and courtship. Cardinals may also mean good fortune, sun and rain. Some people even describe them as beauty in the midst of darkness or hope in the midst of sorrow, which might be a result of them being more commonly seen in the winter.
Bluebird: A bluebird is often perceived as a symbol of joy and happiness that is soon to come. They are reminders of all the beauty and nature around us, and that one should be grateful for the beautiful things that one has in life.
Photo credits: Tony Barakat, Vivek Belhekar
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