The national bird of India is peacock. It was adopted as the national bird of India in the year 1963. Its scientific name is Pavo cristatus, Linnaeus. It has a long slender neck with greenish blue color body which is often referred to as peacock color. The structure of its body reflects that of the swan and has a long crest of feathers and plumes. The female peacock is not as beautiful as its male counterpart. The peahens are usually in shades of brown color with white patch in their belly. They are found in various parts of India like south Mizoram, Jammu and Kashmir, east Assam and in many other parts of India in small volume and in Sri Lanka and Eastern Pakistan.


The reason why peacock is selected as the national bird of India is that it has an important part in the Indian folklore and Hindu mythology. The peacock feather could be seen on the head of the Lord Krishna. It is the vehicle of the God Murugan or Karthikeyan who is supposed to be the son of Lord Shiva. The peacock is sacred to the Goddess Lakshmi, wife of Lord Vishnu as this is associated with fertility and rainy season.


There is an interesting story how the national bird of India got its color. In ancient times it was not very beautiful and was just like the peahen in brown shades. One day, it shielded the god Indra from Ravana, the Demon King by screening with the help of its long tail. The happy Indra blessed it with the jewel like plumage.


The bronze green plumage of the male peacock has 200 elongated feathers. It could expand its tail erect just like a fan. It spreads its wings and starts to dance when there is a sign of rainfall. If it sees dark clouds then it starts to dance in a rhythmic fashion. It also dances to attract the female birds. Though their whole body is beautiful, their legs are unsightly. Their voice is also not good and they give a harsh loud call. They are killed in large numbers for food and for its beautiful feathers. The Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972 has banned the hunting of peacock to protect this species from extinction.


Peacock is said to be a proud bird. It symbolizes the pride of India. It is said that it is proud of its beauty and starts to dance in its pride and after noticing its ugly legs it comes to a halt. The phrase in English, ‘as proud as a peacock’ is very popular. They dance with their raised feathers and this is a sign of male to attract the female and the peahens select their males based on their plumage. Their breeding season is April, May and June in India. They make their nests on the ground with leaves and sticks. They are omnivorous in nature and eat seeds, fruits and insects as well as small animals and reptiles. They live for about 15 to 20 years. It is the duty of every Indian to protect the national bird of India.

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Suhaina Mazhar is a freelance content writer and blogger with five years experience in content writing. is her blog.

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Keywords :
NATIONAL BIRD OF INDIA , peacock , peafowl , indian national bird


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