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Green Peafowl - BirdForum Opus

Adult male P. m. imperator
Photo by robby thai
Mae Wong National Park, Thailand, December 2015
Pavo muticus


Adult male P. m. imperator
Photo by Peter R. Bono
Huai Kong Khrai King's Project, Chaing Mai, Thailand January 2006

Length 180–250 cm (71-98½ in), weight 3.8–5 kg
Considerable difference between subspecies. Tends to be larger and more similarity between the sexes than the Indian Peafowl; males up to 300 cm with train while female up to 110 cm.
Both sexes of all races have a tufted crest, an iridescent neck and breast, and blue wing feathers with rufous primaries. Facial skin forms two white to sky blue double-stripes with a yellow to orange crescent at the rear of facial skin. Male only differs from female during the breeding season with long upper-tail coverts similar to Indian Peafowl; female lacks this and may also be slightly duller but almost identical to non-breeding male or juveniles.


Nominate P. m. muticus has the most colourful plumage with golden-green neck. P. m. imperator is slightly duller but tends to have more vivid facial skin. P. m. spicifer tends to be a dull bluish-green and tends to be slightly larger.


Far northeastern India to southwestern China, Indochina, and Java.


Closely related to Indian Peafowl.


Three subspecies are currently accepted[1][2]:

A study in China has suggested there are two different forms of Green Peafowl in Yunnan, which may be new subspecies. Other possible subspecies in Indochina have been proposed. Birds in Java are sometimes considered identical with the form that existed in Malaysia but the two are distinct and may be separate subspecies.


Forests, woodland and scrub, usually close to water.


On the Red List, the Green Peafowl is now considered Endangered. The subspecies P. m. muticus has become extinct in Malaysia, but it, along with P. m. spicifer (which was also native to Northern Malaysia) have been reintroduced. There is some concern that Javanese birds, distinct from the Malaysian P. m. muticus were also released. P. m. imperator remains fairly common throughout its range, but feral hybrids between Indian Peafowl exist in China. Most captive Green Peafowl are crosses between the several subspecies.


Believed to be similar to Indian Peafowl, but is a better flier. Birds are highly aggressive and territorial and not as hardy in winter conditions as the Indian Peafowl. Displays with long upper-tail coverts (Ocelli) but does not move wings around as often; only occasionally shaking the quills.


Not much is known about the breeding system but it is traditionally believed to be polygamous. However, in captivity they are strongly monogamous and the similarities of the sexes and juvenile individuals suggests the species is monogamous in the wild as well. Female lays 3 to 6 eggs.


berries, grass seeds, peppers, flower petals, crickets, grasshoppers Generally feeds on termites, fruits, berries, grass seed, peppers, flower petals, invertebrates such as crickets and grasshoppers, and reptiles. They are also believed to hunt venomous snakes.


Males have a loud "ki-wao" call while females have an "aow-aa" call. This is generally not as loud as it is in Indian Peafowl.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2017. IOC World Bird Names (version 7.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2014)
  4. BirdLife International

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