PD Image: Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus), monograph (1872) of the Phasianidae or the family of the pheasants by Daniel Giraud Elliot (1835-1915).
PD Photo: Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus imperator or Pavo imperator imperator) male
PD Photo: Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) in the Taipei Zoo, Taiwan
The Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) belongs to Galliformes, an order of birds containing Turkeys, Grouses, Chickens, Quails and Pheasants. They are known by names such as gamefowl, gamebirds, landfowl, gallinaceous birds or galliforms, peacock, peahen, wildfowl or simply fowl. These birds are found in most of Southeast Asia, and it is the closest relative of the Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) found in the Indian subcontinent.
Males and females of Green Peafowl look almost similar, and it is quite difficult to distinguish their sexes during most part of the year when the males have no visible trains. However, the males of the subspecies imperator (P. m. imperator) and spicifer (P. m. spicifer) are overall bluish green.
Green Peafowl are one of the largest Galliforms in terms of overall length and wingspan but lighter than Wild Turkeys. The male Green Peafowl grows up to 3 meters/ 10 feet long, including its ‘train’ and weighs up to 5 kg/ 11 lbs. The female measures 1.1 meter/ 3.5 feet in length and weighs about 1.1 kg/ 2.4 lbs. Green Peafowl have large wingspans of about 1.2 meter/ 4 feet, and is a better flier capable of sustained flight, unlike Indian Peafowl.
The habitat of Green Peafowl is widely spread in Southeast Asia including India, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia (Java). They prefer forests (tropical and subtropical, evergreen and deciduous forests), and are found amongst bamboos, grasslands, savannas, scrubs and farmland edges. It nests on the ground laying 3 to 6 eggs.
Green Peafowl’s diet consists mainly of fruits, invertebrates, reptiles, frogs, and other small animals. Like the other members of its genus, the Green Peafowl can even hunt venomous snakes. Ticks and termites, flower petals, buds leaves and berries are their favorite foods. Their predators include large cats such as the Clouded Leopards, Leopards, Tigers, Jungle Cats and Fishing Cats. The Green Peafowl is an endangered species included in the IUCN Red List.