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Blog Wildlife

Green Peafowl – Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

The tropical forests of Southeast Asia are where green peafowls are the largest in number, as they are native to the location. This specific breed of peacocks is so rare that they are listed as an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. Green peafowls are presumed to be dropping in number due to loss of habitat.

Origin

The green peafowl comes from the pheasant family, which is widespread in the forests of Southeast Asia.

To this day, they can be found in these tropical areas. However, after the loss of habitat, they are generally found in parts of Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and throughout the Indian Subcontinent.

 

Habitat 

As green peafowl originated from tropical lands, they are larger in number in tropical and subtropical forests. But they can be found in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands, scrublands, farmland, savannas (grassy woodland), and even amongst bamboo in forests of eastern Asia.

Physical Features

Between male and female green peafowl, physical appearance differs slightly and might often be identical to one another. They both have an upper tail, which is shorter for females compared to that of males. Both are heavy-winged, shaft-crested, long-legged, and long-tailed.

Green Peafowl, in general, are dark-colored with black eyes surrounded by white or light blue detail. Their necks and heads are coated in delicate feathers of shimmery and vibrant green. The female green peafowl has a copper-colored fringe on them.

 

Behavioral Features

Similar to most forest birds, the green peafowl enjoys spending most of their time on the ground exploring through fields of tall grass. During the day, they are generally found in groups, grooming themselves, drinking, and resting. But, they are usually quiet and unfriendly.

Other Facts

  • Green Peafowls can lay up to half a dozen eggs
  • Since they weigh a lot, their time of flight is limited
  • Can live up to 25 years, so they have a moderately long lifespan
  • They like to feed on a variety of seeds, bugs, plants, and shoots. Sometimes, they even eat small animals such as reptiles and amphibians
  • The average male green peafowl is up to 10 feet long

Read Also: 

Albino Peacock

Bornean peacock-pheasant

Indian Peafowl 

White Peacocks

 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Bornean peacock-pheasant – Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

This peacock species is not only the rarest kind of peacock, but it is also the least known one. The number of Bornean peacock-pheasants is currently unknown. Speculators believe that their total population is close to endangered, and they are multiplying very slowly.

Because of their relatively small population and continuous habitat loss, the Bornean peacock-pheasant is listed as an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. There have been multiple attempts at preserving the population of these peacocks, but only slight improvement.

Origin

Just as their name suggests, the Bornean peacock-pheasant originated from the lowlands of Borneo. Borneo is the third-largest island in Asia and is home to a variety of unique animals and plants. Here, Bornean peacock-pheasants are kept in captivity to protect them from predation as well as increase their population.

However, Bornean peacock-pheasants are not just found in Borneo but in other Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

 

Habitat

They are native to lowland forest areas of a Southeast Asian island called Borneo. All Bornean peacock pheasants like to stay and explore places that are packed with fruiting trees and tall grass.

It is only in lowland forests where these peacocks feel most comfortable walking around, resting in the shade, preening, and hunting for food. This is why the wildlife preservation camps in Borneo keep these peacocks in a monitored forest.

 

Physical Features

Bornean peacock-pheasants are much smaller than regular peacocks, which are often labeled as “medium-sized.” The average pheasant is only about 20 inches long.

Although the color differs, they generally have a reddish brown and black spotted body with long crest and nape feathers. Their feathers have metallic blue and green details.

Their eyes have a slight bluish tint with bright yellow skin surrounding them. As for their throats and upper chests, they can be either coated with white or black feathers. On average, they have 22 tail feathers that spread like the propellers of a fan and feature blue and green ocelli, as most peacocks do.

 

Behavioral Features

Peacock-pheasants have a diet that is majorly invertivorous, which means they enjoy feeding on insects the most. Whether it be earwigs, centipedes, insect larvae, isopods, or even termites, these peacocks love to hunt for bugs in the wild.

Aside from insects, they also like to eat berries, peaches, olives, cherries, seeds, and small amphibians (especially frogs).

Other Facts

  • The female peacock-pheasant is smaller and a lighter shade of brown than the male. They also have brown colored eyes
  • Since they are so unknown, they were long considered to be a descendant species of the Malayan peacock-pheasant
  • In a study by BirdLife International in 2001, there were an estimated 1,000-2,499 peacock-pheasants left. This number is much lower as of now
  • They prefer running over flying, and are able to do so at an impressive speed
  • Their brownish gray body feathers make up most of their physical features, and their blue-green ocelli details are much smaller than that of regular peacocks. This is why they often get mistaken as lowland birds other than peacocks

Read Also: 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Indian Peafowl – Animal Profile, Facts, Pictures

One of the most beautiful, yet incredibly common species of peafowl is the ‘Pavo Cristatus’ – also known as ‘Blue Peafowl’ or ‘Indian Peafowl’. They are the biggest, heaviest, and oldest members of the Phasianidae family.

Indian Peafowls weigh around 4-6 kg on average. The female peahens tend to be smaller in size, with their average size ranging from 100-115cm, and have slightly lower body mass than the male peacocks.

Origin

These peacocks are known to have originated from the Indian Subcontinent. Some Historians suggest that Alexander The Great had introduced Indian peafowl to Europe for the first time, and by 450 C.E, these peacocks had spread to the lands of Athens.

 

Habitat

Over the years, Indian peafowls have adapted themselves to comfortably live around human habitations. Some love to stay in grasslands, some in scrublands, and others in dry-deciduous forests.

Today, they are commonly seen in the dry lowlands of Sri Lanka and South India, such as the national parks and zoos. They also happen to inhabit different parts of many European countries such as Italy and Germany.

 

Physical Features

The head of a typical Indian peafowl exhibits a vibrant blue color. The long train feathers at the back have bluish-green patterns resembling eyespots, ranging up to six feet in length.

Just like a Mohawk, the peafowls have straight wire-like feathers on the crown. The dark blue and green colors in the peacock’s body are evident because of a pigment called melanin in the feathers.

 

Behavioral Features

Apart from being capable of flight, these peacocks are omnivorous in nature. They feed on certain fruits like berries, grains, seeds, nuts, worms, and insects. These birds also prey on amphibians and reptiles like snakes and lizards.

Male Indian peafowls are widely known for their blaring calls and their excessive breeding plumage. If they make piercing loud calls at night, it basically indicates there is a danger (predator) nearby. However, if they make these calls in daylight, it’s simply because they are trying to attract another peahen.

Generally, these birds rest at night on the branches of trees. When it’s time to lay eggs, the peahens will scrape holes on the ground.

 

Other Facts

  • It takes a minimum of three years for Indian peafowls to fully develop their tail plumage to attract mates
  • They were declared the national birds of India in 1963, and are considered a symbol of immortality in Greek mythology
  • After these peahens become too old and start to lose estrogen, they sound and look more like male peacocks
  • Indian Peafowls, after mating season is over, shed their train feathers
  • The train feathers make up 60% of their bodies

Read Also: 

Hilarious Pictures of Owl

Dove vs. Pigeon

Albino Peacock

Green Peafowl

Bornean peacock-pheasant

White Peacocks

 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Amazing Facts About Sensational White Peacocks

Peacocks are renowned creatures who are mostly known for their elegance and exquisite beauty. When we hear the word ‘peacock,’ the picture of an exalted big, blue bird shows up in our mind. But their collection of vibrant, eye-patterned, tail feathers are what makes them look so dazzling and attractive.

But many of us are not familiar with the rare creature of utter majesty, that is, the white peacock. They mightn’t be rich with eye-catching colors, but that doesn’t meddle with their aesthetics at all. Get excited as you’ll discover more about the sensational white peacocks – all the facts and pictures right in this article.

Busting the Albino Myth

Albino animals are unable to create any sort of pigmentation in their body. This causes sporadic or complete white coloration in their body along with pinkish eyes. Pink eyes occur because the red blood vessels in their eyes can’t be masked due to the absence of eye color.

White peafowls are not albino creatures, and they’re no different than normal peafowls. Due to a genetic variation, white peafowls get their complete white body color.

This gene mutation is called leucism. Unlike albino creatures, peafowls affected with leucism retain their blue eye color. It’s the feather that loses pigmentation due to this condition, providing a different but not any less remarkable appearance.

Leucism doesn’t always cause losing pigmentation throughout the whole body. Patches of colors within white can be seen in some peafowls, giving them a mystical look. Also, peachicks with leucism are born yellow rather than white. As they grow up to mature, the white coloring vivifies slowly.

What’s interesting is that leucism is more frequent in the captive creatures rather than in the ones out in the wild. This genetic variation is not only seen in peafowls but also in deer, giraffes, buffaloes, horses, and many other animals and birds.

Besides completely white and patched blue in white coloring, spots of black within white coloring are also rarely seen in peafowls. Mutated peacocks are very rare and can hardly be seen in the wild. That’s why they carry so many sacred symbols in different regions and religions, which I’ll discuss later in this article.

 

Facts and Features

White and blue Indian peacocks usually get to be 39-45 inches tall, while the peahens are slightly shorter at 37-40 inches. They have a lifespan of 10-25 years. Domesticated peacocks can live more than 25 years with good care and diet.

Usually, peafowls are peace-loving creatures. They often don’t attack humans or other animals if it’s not for hunting reasons. But if it comes to their nest, eggs, or offsprings, peacocks can be extremely protective. They’ll attack anything that tries to trespass on their territory.

Peacocks also get super aggressive during their mating season, especially the white ones as they’re not usually prioritized by the peahens for courtship.

 

History of Origin

Peafowls have three species, and all of those three belong to Phasianidae, the pheasant family of birds. The Pheasant family includes the wild fowls from which the domestic chickens came.

Amidst three classes of peafowl, at-least two of them are native to the tropical forests of South-East Asia, and one is native to the land of Africa. The South-East Asian peafowls are the most renowned ones for their flamboyance.

 

One of them is the class of green peafowls found in Myanmar, Java, and other areas in the vicinity. Their binomial scientific name is Pavo muticus.

And the other one is the majestic blue peacocks, which originated from the land of India. Indian peafowls (Pavo cristatus) are known to be the only class among the three in which leucism occurs.

During the period of British colonization in the Indian sub-continent, British merchants and lords helped the spread of the Indian peacocks into the European countries and America. As they started to keep some of these birds captive, a very rare number of newborns started to show this white coloring.

Before that, white peacocks were hardly seen in India, but it’s evident that they existed in an exceptionally small number. White peacocks were so rare that in many cultures, they were considered mythical creatures.

 

Why Peacocks and Not Peafowls?

Most of you’re probably aware of this that the flamboyant ones with the colorful collection of vivid tail feathers are the male peafowls or peacocks. Peahens are significantly less captivating than peacocks, as they have a shorter tail with usual-looking feathers.

Peahens also don’t show off their beauty like the male ones, but it’s not because of shame or anything like that. Rather the peacocks show off their beauty by fanning out their collection of feathers to impress the female ones.

There are several theories about how a peahen chooses her partner in courtship. Some of these theories say that during the partner selection process, a peahen considers factors like protection, shelter territory, and nuptial gifts.

 

Another theory says a peahen would want a partner that has superior genes. And how do they decide that? From a peahen’s perspective, a male peafowl with the most vibrant coloring and largest feathers in the tail has the best genes.

The inclination towards superior genes is because better genes will be good for the descendants and suitable for the female partner’s reproductive success.

So, the purpose of such delicacy in a peacock’s appearance is to get an advantage in courtship. White peacocks have an extra feature that makes them even more mystical. Their feathers are equipped with tiny shiny crystals, which sparkle when sunlight falls upon them.

 

Diet

As white peacocks are actually the same species as blue peacocks, their dietary traits are similar. Peacocks aren’t picky about their food at all. They often eat anything they can access with their beaks and digest, which makes them fine omnivores.

Peacocks eat both plant-based foods and live creatures. Among plant-based foods, they eat flower petals, plant leaves, seeds, grains, grasses, fruits like berries, figs, etc.

Peafowls don’t like to wander in the sun, and that’s why they hunt for their food either very early in the morning or around sunset. During the hot portion of the day, they relax somewhere cool and shadowy.

Besides plants, peacocks love to eat live creatures like insects and small mammals. Among insects, they aggressively hunt for ants, crickets, and termites, as well as millipedes and other arthropods. Small snakes are also eaten by peafowl around India.

Peacocks are also very decent fishermen. They like to hunt for small fishes in small and still water sources. When it comes to feeding domesticated peafowls, it’s not much of a hassle as they can devour various types of foods, but there are certain foods that most birds, including peafowls, can’t sustain.

 

Domesticated peafowls like to eat cracked grains like oats and maize. They also like to eat cheese, bread, and cooked rice. Some of them even like to eat cat food.

Keepers have discovered that peafowls also love protein-rich foods such as larvae that infest crops and various types of meat. Various fruits, as well as vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, beets, carrots, broccoli, beans, and peas are in their list as well.

Avoid feeding avocados, chocolates, onions, garlic, salt, and caffeine to a domestic peafowl. These foods often don’t suit the digestive system of the peafowls and can cause various health problems.

 

Habitat and Nesting Habits

Naturally, all peafowls like to build their habitat out in the woods and deep forests. But they can adapt surprisingly well to different environments, including the domestic ones.

A peahen lays 3-6 eggs per nesting attempt. This number is called clutch size for a bird. Annually a peahen goes for one clutch only. Although peafowls build their nest on the ground for laying eggs and hatching them, they choose tall trees to build perches for keeping the eggs and chicks safe from other animals.

Late winter to spring is the most appropriate time for the peafowls to build their nests and perches. A peachick will be able to fly in only 3 days after they’re hatched from the egg, although they can travel very short distances at first.

 

Rarity

White peacocks are extremely rare not only because of the slim chances of their birth but also of the fact that it is tougher for the white peacocks to entice a female peafowl into courtship.

If both of the parents have mutated genes of leucism, all the chicks will be born white peacocks. Although, to be accurate, they’ll be born yellow and become white later on. If one of the parent peafowls is white, then the kids might be born patched, completely white, or completely colored.

Genes of leucism can often be latent in a peafowl. So, even if both parents are of natural color, most bred peachicks will be of natural color. So, a case of leucism is extremely rare.

Currently, the number of white peafowls existing in the world isn’t known exactly. Almost all of them are in captivity around the world.

 

Symbolism and Cultural Significance

Because of their rarity and mystical guise, white peacocks have captured a lot of symbolism in different cultures and religions long before. Different cultures have already attached special meanings and significances to peacocks in general, and the symbolizations related to white peacocks are significantly distinct from them.

 

Shamanism

Peacocks, in general, bear a great significance in the culture of shamanism. Shamans believe that certain peacock medicine made with a special process can provide them the power of clairvoyance.

The order of white peacocks in shamanism culture is said to be an ancient order of the shamans that have come from the planet Venus. Shamans believe the temple of this order is protected by some white peacocks, who alert everyone by crying out when someone approaches the temple.

 

Jesus Christ

In various old temples, artworks, and mosaics, white peacock is showed as the embodiment of Jesus Christ. As the white peacock symbolizes eternal life, death as well as resurrection in Christian culture, these concepts are highly associated with the life of Christ.

The white peacock also bears the symbol of glory, royalty, and purity of heart which are some of the noblest sides of Jesus Christ.

 

Enlightenment

Besides Jesus Christ himself, the white hue of the white peacocks represents the symbol of awakening or enlightenment in Christian culture. There’s a beautiful literary name for it, called the ‘Christ Consciousness.’

This awakening symbolizes the purification of a person’s heart as he/she finds his/her way toward the light of God.

 

Nirvana and Good Luck

In Buddhism, white peacocks are the symbols of nirvana. Not the band Nirvana! In Buddhism, nirvana is the name of a state of mind where the person isn’t bound by any materialistic concepts like desire, want, or suffering. The person also gives up the concept of self and becomes free from the cycle of life-death and karma.

In Asian countries like China, Japan, and India, people find this bird very sacred. They often believe white peacocks to be the bringer of good luck and the watcher who is protecting their households.

 

Hinduism

As blue peacocks are native to India, there are a lot of symbols in Hinduism as well as Indian culture related to peacocks. White peacocks in Hinduism are considered to be the symbol of spirituality.

Besides all these religious and cultural embodiments, white peacocks are also associated with various superstitious beliefs all around the world. These beliefs are most prevalent in the land of India.

 

Domestic Usage

Peacock meats are not that tasty or tender, but they’re high in protein count. Peahen eggs are also rich in protein. As white peacocks are extremely rare, eating them would be a real waste, so they’re mostly kept captive as pets or in zoos domestically.

 

Conclusion

White peacocks might not be as resplendent as blue or green peacocks, but they’re astounding in their own style. Their clear white hue with fanned-out tail feathers brings the utmost peace and serenity to the spectator’s mind.

I believe this article provided you with enough information about the sensational white peacocks – all the facts and pictures. As white peacocks are rarely found in nature, precautions must be taken to preserve this boon of nature.

Read Also: 

Albino Peacock

Green Peafowl

Bornean peacock-pheasant

Indian Peafowl 

 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

What is a Group of Chickens Called?

Chickens have coexisted with humans for almost hundreds of decades, if not more. Descended from the docile Red Junglefowl bird of Southeast Asia, these birds changed drastically due to human domestication.

Similar to its predecessor, the Red Junglefowl and other related birds, Chickens have intricated social structures and hierarchies that they maintain. There is no creative collective name given for chickens as there are for others, such as ‘murder of crows’ or ‘gaggle of geese.’ So exactly what do you call a group of chickens, then?

A group of chickens is typically referred to as a flock, but they can also be called a brood or peep.

Continue reading to learn more collective nouns and other interesting facts about this well-known bird!

Important Terminology Relating to Chickens

Many terms have been created for chickens through domestication and farming; hence it can be quite common to mix them up. Here are some terms with which they may be referred:

  • Cockerel

Domesticated male chickens that are less than a year old. These young birds become sexually mature in less than half a year.

  • Pullet

An immature female domesticated bird that is less than a year old.

  • Rooster/Cock

A mature or adult male domesticated chicken. They are further classified as Fowls as well. Fowls are those that are usually raised for meat, eggs, or games.

  • Hen

An adult female chicken that has reached reproductive age is called a hen. The reproductive age usually begins at 16 to 24 weeks.

  • Point of Lay Chicken

Refers to a hen or a mature female domesticated chicken ready to lay eggs.

  • Layer Breed

These are chickens bred for the production of eggs only. They have no other purpose, such as meat production or games.

  • Poultry

Poultry refers to birds that have been domesticated for human use, primarily for egg-laying, meat, and feathers.

  • Chick

Baby chickens, both male and female.

  • Biddy

A colloquial term for an older hen.

Collective Nouns and Terms Used for a Group of Chickens

There are quite a few different terminologies used for a group of chickens; however, that depends on the context. The most common terms used are:

  • Brood of Chickens

A group of hens or even a singular family of chickens is referred to as a brood of chickens.

  • Flock of Chickens

This is the most common term referred to for a group of most types of birds.

  • A Peep or a Clutch of Chickens

A group of young or baby chickens is referred to as a peep or clutch of chickens. This is mainly due to the chirping sound they make while hatching out from their eggs.

  • A Collection of Chickens

This is quite self-explanatory and is quite a common term used for a group of chickens.

 

Are Chickens Social Birds?

Chickens are known for being boisterous and social birds and tend to prefer living in close-knit communities that take care of one another. Hens frequently assist one another in building nests, incubating eggs, and raising chicks. And it’s very typical for a couple of hens to share a nest as well.

However, compared to hens, roosters tend to be more solitary in nature and prioritize themselves when it comes to feeding. They will only signal to other chickens when they are done feeding.

 

Do Chickens Gather in Flocks?

Chickens love to cluster in groups. They are gregarious birds who prefer living with groups usually ranging from 3 to a greater number of birds. For the purpose of breeding, a farmer typically puts together around five to fifteen hens with a single cockerel in each flock.

Social by nature, leaving chickens alone without the company of other birds may lead to them being restless and somber. Moreover, most domesticated chickens procreate communally. Hence you can often see hens sharing rearing duties and even sharing nests with other hens.

Even feral chickens which have abandoned or fled domestication also tend to flock around in groups of several birds. You will rarely ever see a chicken living by itself.

 

Reasons Why Chickens Flock Around in Groups

Chickens have come a long way since they were domesticated and bred by humans, and their behavior patterns have undoubtedly altered since then. And very little is known about how and why.

However, we have come across two primary reasons why chickens tend to flock in groups. And they are:

 

  • Reproduction

With the ultimate goal of reproducing, Male cockerels have a tendency to keep the hens breeding at the same rate as them. Therefore, chickens can sustain their high reproductive rates by gathering in a community with a large number of chickens.

 

  • Survival

Another prime reason for flocking in groups is for survival. Flocking also helps chickens survive in cooler temperatures by permitting them to burrow for warmth. Moreover, their large numbers tend to protect them from any outside threat.

 

When Do Chickens Congregate?

Thousands of chickens kept on a farm for commercial purposes can’t be called a flock of chickens. This is due to the fact that these chickens never have the opportunity to display their inherent social and communal impulses.

Chickens tend to form flocks in smaller groups used for recreational purposes. In other words, chickens naturally form flocks when their natural habitat allows them to. Even feral or stray chickens establish flocks with distinct power structures in the wilderness.

 

The Number of Chickens in a Flock or Group

Most domesticated chicken breeds require at least three birds to form a flock. Generally, a small flock of five to ten chickens is the standard. On the other hand, thousands of birds can be found on commercial farms, but this isn’t actually referred to as a flock.

 

Do Chickens Stick Together As a Family?

Domesticated chickens tend to have a strong familial bond which they tend to maintain with no harm or aggression as long as they are brought up together. Groups of smaller chickens usually create strong social relationships and stick together. These chickens can be small to mid-sized.

Moreover, after dark, chickens cluster together to share warmth, whereas hens share incubation and duties for nesting and weaning chicks. These baby chicks often remain to stay with their mothers for at least four weeks to a span of eight weeks. After which, they can wander in solitary within flocks.

 

What Do We Call a Group of Roosters?

There is no definite term given to a cluster of Roosters; however, we usually refer to them as a flock whenever seen in groups. Roosters are significantly more hostile than hens. It is because if there aren’t enough hens in the brood or flock to mate with, they tend to fight with other fellow Roosters.

The most probable reason why a group of roosters does not have a specific terminology is likely the difficulty of finding a group of roosters together. This is because roosters are more territorial and fiercely protective over their territories as opposed to their female counterparts, who tend to be more social and flock in groups.

However, the extent of aggressiveness of Roosters varies between breeds as well. Hence it is recommended to pair one rooster with every 10 to 15 hens, to prevent any fighting or assertion of dominance over mating rights.

Roosters sometimes even create their own herds or groups to flock around and socialize with one another. These groups often exclude female hens.

 

Do We Use Any Specific Term for a Couple or Duo of Chickens?

Similar to the point above, when referring to a couple of chickens, there is no particular terminology used. Gregarious and sociable nature, chickens usually dwell in flocks or groups of numerous chickens, typically more than five per group.

Hence, it’s often quite common to see chickens getting agitated or depressed in smaller groups.

Some breeds of chickens with a more docile temperament tend to fare well in fewer numbers. They will, however, still seek interaction and companionship. This can be with their owners or with other animals. Hence a solitary lifestyle is definitely not for these birds!

 

What Do We Call a Group of Chicks?

There is even a term for newborn chickens. They are usually referred to as a “brood of baby chickens.” A peep of chickens is another widely used term. These baby chickens make delicate squeaking noises as they come out of their shells, which earns them this name.

 

Communities and Societies of Chickens

Like every other societal structure, chickens have one, and it is not as fair and justified either. Chickens create deep social relationships with one another, yet their social systems are also disrupted from time to time.

One such case is that, in the absence of a rooster, a flock of hens will create a pecking order, with a dominant hen at the top and numerous tiers of hens below her. The hierarchy will determine who gets fed first, chooses nesting places, and gets access to drinking water and dust baths.

Social hierarchies created by hens rarely result in aggravation and intimidation towards the hens in the lower part of the hierarchy. In fact, hens at the higher levels tend to form strong social bonds with the ones at the lower levels of the hierarchy.

Usually, in a flock, 10 to 15 hens are subordinated to one male chicken or rooster, and this rooster tends to mate with all the hens under his subordination. In the case of multiple roosters in a flock, they will likely pick and select which hens to mate with; however, the hens also have a say.

If an outsider chicken tries to infiltrate the flock, they are usually attacked by the chickens in the flock as a defense mechanism.

 

Can Chickens Live in Isolation?

Chickens are flock birds. They need to socialize with other chickens in order to thrive. Otherwise, they can become bored, agitated, sad, and aggressive and may resort to destructive behaviors like self-harm. Hence by virtue, chickens do not fare well in isolation as they tend to get lonely very easily.

However, roosters are said to do better on their own than hens. However, that is only if they are raised in that manner. Likewise, hens who grew up with other pets and children may be quite fine as long as they have adequate time to socialize with other animals and companions.

 

Are Chickens Aggressive?

Aggression in chickens varies greatly depending on the breed. Some chickens can be very calm and docile, while others can be brutally aggressive. In some breeds, both male and female chickens can be hostile, albeit the males are more likely to engage in the most severe forms of aggressiveness.

Some roosters are reared for the sole purpose of games such as cockfighting, where male chickens can compete and fight till death. On the other hand, some will coexist amicably, depending on the breed and personality of the roosters.

Some of the most aggressive breeds of chicken include:

  • Buckeye
  • Cornish
  • Faverolles
  • Cubalaya
  • Modern Game
  • Old English Game
  • Sumatra
  • Wyandotte

Some of these breeds are reared solely for the purpose of cockfighting.

 

Red Junglefowl – Predecessor of Current Chickens

The forebears of today’s chickens, the Red junglefowl, had social hierarchies that are similar to those of chickens raised in natural settings today.

One male may share a home with several females. But he may also live alone or with other males. However, the hens are the most sociable and tend to assert dominance over the flock when roosters are not present.

 

Conclusion

These social and gregarious species of well-known birds do not have any eye-catching terms for their groups. Therefore, if you have been wondering what you call a group of chickens, a group of chickens is usually called a flock or brood.

Now you know the answer and much more relating to chicken-related lingo and knowledge.

Read Also: 

Do Ducks Eat Frogs?

Can Ducks Eat Grapes?

Categories
Wildlife

Baby Penguin: Everything You Need To Know

Remember that little penguin named Dindim who comes to see his human friend every summer in South America, swimming thousands of miles? What about Lala, the penguin in Japan who went shopping for fish? 

These are rare cases where an exotic creature formed a bond with humans. Raising these quirky semi-aquatic birds is an almost impossible task. 

So, when I had this sudden urge to adopt a baby penguin (like everybody else!), I went on to gather all the relevant information. And if you are in the same boat as me, here’s everything you need to know about baby penguins. They are such amazing creatures with so many interesting features about them. 

 

An Introduction to Baby Penguin

Fluffy baby penguins are called chicks or nestlings. Their size, shape, and appearance vary depending on the species. Emperor penguin babies, the largest species, are 4 inches and weigh 315 grams when they’re hatched. 

The smallest known species, the little penguin, weighs only 35 grams and is 3 inches tall when fully grown.

 

Types of Common Penguin Babies:

Penguin babies can be born with or without feathers. Most chicks take at least a year to grow their full plumage. Here are six commonly known species and how to identify them.

 

Emperor Penguin Chicks:

Baby emperor penguins are born without feathers and take a few weeks to grow the first layer which is light grey. The head feathers are black, and the color reaches their chins. Their face and throat remain white.

The second coat contains larger and thicker feathers and is light brownish on the chest. Juveniles have fewer black feathers on their head. Their eyes are diffused grey, and their neck is whitish brown.

 

King Penguin Babies:

King penguin babies are born naked and develop the first down coat in a few weeks. This layer is pale grey or brown. Their second coat is dark brown, and these chicks are fluffier than most other penguin babies. 

These juveniles’ crown feathers are greyish, and the back patch is pale yellow. They also get pretty pink markings under the lower half of their beaks.

 

Gentoo Penguin Babies

With a first down coat of grey or greyish brown, Gentoo babies have darker heads and white underparts. The second layer grows as dark greyish brown. Juveniles have low bright orange bills than adults do. 

 

Chinstrap Penguin Chicks

Chinstrap babies have an allover grey down coat with a lighter tone on the head. These beauties grow brownish-grey second coats with dull cream-white underparts. When they reach the juvenile phase, they develop little black streaks on the face, especially around the eyes. 

But their bills are smaller than those of adults. Also, the irises are a little less sparkly.

 

Adelie Penguin Babies:

Adelie penguin chicks get pale-grey first feathers with a darker head. And the second coat is dusty brown in color. The juvenile phase brings white color to the throat and chin. While the cheeks, ear covers, bills, and orbital rings are dark.

 

African Penguin Chicks 

African penguin babies have a dark brownish-grey color with paler throats and bellies. You can recognize them by the patches behind their eyes. The second coat grows blueish-grey. Underparts are brown with a short light stripe behind the eye.

African Penguins reach the juvenile phase with beautiful slate-colored upper coats. The head becomes paler on the sides. Their underparts turn white with black spots, and the bill takes a dark grey shade. African penguin babies’ legs vary from others. They would either be pale pinkish-grey or dark, dusky grey.

 

Macaroni Penguin Babies

Macaroni Penguin chicks have a similar second down, born with white plumage and the first coat of grey covering the head, chin, and throat. However, the dark areas turn greyish-brown.

In their juvenile stage, Macaroni Penguins have shorter crests and bills than adults. Sometimes they do not even have crests; the crown and the sides of the forecrown show yellow color. Their iris becomes dark brown, and the area covering the chin and throat appears dark grey.

 

Legal Matters You Need to Be Aware of

First of all, penguins are regarded as exotic birds in the US. So buying one is difficult by all means. 

There is a list of exotic animals in the US that’s strictly maintained. If I were to get an exotic pet, I would need to provide the right environment and follow through with the legal procedures.

 

Extinction Issues

Global warming has greatly affected penguin habitats. Humans cruelly hunting them for fat and food has also contributed to the drop in the penguin population. Ten out of 18 species of penguins discovered are currently endangered. 

Thus the World Conservation Union signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. 

So there are special laws to protect endangered animals now. This is why even if it’s legal, it is almost impossible to buy a penguin as a pet.

 

 

Terms And Conditions to Keep Penguins

 

  • Financial Stability

Penguins are incredibly high maintenance when raised in captivity. They require a lot of healthcare and attention. They are also difficult to control. A person must be financially prepared to provide a suitable environment and an on-site veterinarian. For zoo owners, the legal stages of buying penguins become less difficult.

The cost per bird is estimated to be between $1000 to $22000 depending on the species, age, sex, and also healthcare. But this is not enough; there is more to it. It will need a mate, so $2000 minimum plus the other expenses.

 

  • A Saltwater Swimming Pool

To align with their natural habitat, a large saltwater swimming pool is mandatory regardless of the number of birds. The pool size in international competitions is the minimum standard for penguins. 

So, if I were to get a penguin, I would need to afford the high-end cleaning system to maintain proper hygiene and hire staff for manual maintenance. Moreover, I’ll have to buy tiny slippers and other props for all their waddling and recreation.

 

  • Temperature Control

Unlike TV shows that show penguins only on the ice, actual penguins can survive in less cold areas too. They even travel to nearby regions and do not always require a freezing environment to stay alive and well. 

For penguins to thrive, a temperature of 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit is a must. Northern states have an advantage. However, a super strong cooling system will be needed to achieve this temperature in an enclosed pool in a southern state. The result is happy penguins but a huge electricity bill.   

 

  • Food And Hygiene

Penguins, on average, consume 4 to 11 lbs. of fish every day. The amount increases to 13 lbs. in the breeding season. So an average penguin will need 500 lbs of fish a year. To meet this demand, the pet owner needs to be a highly skilled fisherman or have the ability to buy this quantity.

Big appetite leads to huge defecation. Cleaning this mess is a hassle, but proper hygiene needs to be maintained. At times I think having penguins as pets is a massive feat.

 

  • Mate/Family for the Penguin

Penguins always stay in packs. Fun fact- a group of penguins in the water is called a raft, whereas it’s called a waddle if they are on land. Penguins huddle together during mating and breeding seasons, hunting time, or to protect themselves from predators. 

So, keeping only one penguin will make it very lonely. Adopting two or four together is a better idea. 

Also, I used even numbers because penguins are monogamous birds. If I raise two penguins, one needs to be male and the other female. Adopting them in pairs is encouraged so they can have a family and the owner can contribute to the multiplication. 

Penguins in a natural colony are happier and healthier. The least we could do is get them a small family. 

 

Can I Open A Penguin Petting Zoo?

Absolutely not!

Penguins are amongst the least sociable creatures when it comes to connecting with other species. So, I cannot imagine them being all friendly with kids who pet them and take selfies. 

In fact, if my penguins even decide to show up in front of people (chances are really low), they are more likely to chase them away by screaming in a group.

 

Adoption Or Sponsorship

Even if I am not a zoo owner or cannot afford the full cost, there is still a slight chance that I might come close to being a penguin parent. I can adopt or sponsor a penguin. All I need to do is prove that I can handle that bare minimum amount of $1000 for a penguin while it stays in a rescue center or a penguin sanctuary.

A wildlife preservation organization is responsible for getting people to help with the sponsorship and the legal documents. Some of them provide manuals, freebies, treats, and more frequent visits along with the adoption certificate. Even naming the penguin is sometimes approved.

 

Penguin Eggs-Appearance And Incubation

Penguins generally lay two eggs. The only exceptions are the emperor penguins and the king penguins. Most species lay white or grey eggs; some have a green or blue tint. Penguins use the ground as their nest. 

But king and emperor penguins use their feet to keep the eggs. Emperor penguin eggs are 10 – 13cm (4-5 inches) big and weigh 315 to 415 grams (11 and 15 ounces). Smaller birds like Adelie penguins lay eggs that are 5 and 8cm (2-3 inches) long and weigh between 56 and 140 grams (2-5 ounces).

Emperor penguin females lay their eggs, and the males incubate them. They stand upright and balance the eggs on top of their feet the whole time. The loose layer of featherless skin, called the brood patch, keeps the egg warm. This process takes 62 to 66 days. 

All the other penguin species take 30 to 66 days for the incubation period, sharing the responsibilities between both males and females. The duration also depends on the climate and the habitat. 

After this long period of incubation, the first crack appears. Orphaned penguin eggs hatched in shelters are put in incubators until they hatch.

 

Taking Care of Hatchlings

When it’s time to hatch, penguin chicks peep out of their eggs. On average, it takes them two to three days to chip out of their eggshells. Some of the species are born with feathers, some naked but grow the first down within a few weeks. 

This layer of feathers is not water resistant, and so newly hatched babies should never be allowed in the water. Depending on the species, it takes 7 to 13 months to grow waterproof feathers. When the baby birds reach the juvenile stage, they can make their own way into the water. Adult plumage grows within a year.

 

What Food Should I Feed My Penguins?

Penguins primarily eat fish, Krill, and squids. And Krill is a crustacean in the family Euphausiidae. It looks a lot like shrimp. Even though weather and quantity vary in every region with every season, every penguin species has a preference for food. It helps balance the food chain. 

In both the southern polar regions, smaller penguins survive on Krill and squids. Adélie penguins like small Krill, but chinstraps go for large Krill. Northern penguins, on the other hand, prefer fish. Emperor and king penguins like to have squids and fishes. 

Therefore, the species’ natural choices in food should be kept in mind while raising and feeding penguin babies.

Usually, penguins feed their own cheeks. The parents hunt, swallow and/or digest the food, and regurgitate them into their mouths. Then they use their beaks like a spoon and feed their little ones. 

Penguins have special kind of enzymes that keeps the food inside them without rotting. Sometimes, the food is completely digested and turned into oil. It’s called penguin ‘milk.’ But Hatchlings born and raised in captivity are most of the time orphaned. 

So they are dependent on human caregivers for nutrition. The penguin shelters all have expert caregivers to feed and groom penguin babies.

 

Bottom Line

The adoption and breeding of penguins in captivity should not be encouraged. But, the people who share the love for penguins can always attempt this through possible legal means. 

Proper research and maintaining rules and regulations can help save orphaned and/or injured birds. In this article, I talked about pretty much everything you need to know about baby penguins. 

Of course, these are still just the basic stuff. A person needs to educate themselves in every way possible before adopting an exotic bird such as a penguin.

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Categories
Blog Wildlife

Types of Ducks 2022

Ducks are one of the most diverse groups of birds. They can be found worldwide in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Yeah, you read that right! Not all ducks are yellow.

Each of those ducks has its distinct features. Even though some of them might look alike at first glance, they are actually very different from each other.

In this article, we will discuss some of the common types of ducks and how you can distinguish them.

Types of Ducks

Like every other animal, ducks come in different sizes, shapes, and forms. Even if they have some common characteristics like their habitats and diets, they have many distinguishable features that set each kind apart.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most common types of ducks and how one can differentiate them.

  • Blue-Winged Teal

Blue-Winged Teal

Blue-winged teals are one of the smallest species of ducks. They belong to the dabbling group of ducks.

The male species of blue-winged teal have cerulean spots on their wings. They also have a blackish-grey head with a distinctive white arc behind their beaks.

Meanwhile, the female species are primarily brown with a dark brown head and a black bill. Blue-winged teal ducks prefer to reside in wetlands such as ponds, lakes, and marshes.

These ducks are indigenous to the Prairie Pothole Region in central North America and migrate to Mexico, Florida, and South and Central America.

  • Wood Duck

Wood Duck

The male species of wood ducks are stunning with their remarkable plumage. They have a green tuft of feathers on top of their head with a walnut-colored body.

On the other hand, the female species of wood ducks have a crested head with a mellow brown body. Wood ducks like to live in swamps of woods, forest lowlands, ponds, and marshes.

They choose the eastern and central United States, Canada, Pacific Coast, and the Great Plains region for their breeding grounds, and they migrate to eastern Texas during winter.

  • Mallards

Mallards

Mallards are one of the most commonly seen ducks all over the world. They belong to the group of dabbling ducks.

The male mallards have a head and neck with a peculiar metallic green color and a white border at the bottom of their neck. They have a yellow bill and red feet.

On the contrary, the female species of mallards have a warm brown body with dark brown lines around the eyes. Their bill and feet both are orange-colored.

Like most other ducks, mallards also prefer to live in aquatic environments such as ponds, bogs, marshes, and lakes.

Mallards are very common in the United States. They can be seen from Florida to Alaska.

  • Bufflehead

Bufflehead

Buffleheads are one of the smallest species of ducks. They belong to the group of diving ducks.

Contrary to their size, they have a large head with a small but wide bill. The male species of buffleheads have a white body with white spots along with their heads.

However, the female species have brown bodies with white spots on their face. Buffleheads prefer to live in nests built by other birds near the coastlines.

These ducks breed starting from Alaska to throughout Canada.

 

  • Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Duck

The male species have a bright blue bill which makes them quite unique. They have black tufts and white cheeks.

Both the male and female ruddy ducks have a mild bill with a broad but small neck.

Ruddy ducks prosper in both open and closed wetlands. They breed throughout Canada to the United States.

  • Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Duck

The male species have a lavish plume with an aquamarine body and a white arc along with their eyes. At the same time, the females have brown bodies with white splotches around their bills and eyes.

Both the male and female harlequins have short grey bills.

Harlequin ducks make nests in holes of trees, the precipice of ledges, and sometimes on the ground. They live across the whitewater rivers of the Pacific Northwest.

  • Black Scoter

Black Scoter

 

The male species of black scoters are totally black save for their knob of the bill, which is of vivid yellow color.

On the other hand, the female black scoters are dark brown without any yellow knob.

Black scoters make their nests on the trees or grounds along the coastlines. They can be seen on Pacific Coasts and Atlantic Coasts.

  • Torrent Duck

Torrent Duck

The male species of torrent ducks have white and brown marks along their chests and black almond-shaped markings around their eyes. Similarly, the females also have white and brown lines along their backs and necks.

Both the male and female torrent ducks have dark orange to vivid red beaks.

These ducks reside both in whitewater and calm water throughout South America.

  • Cotton Pygmy Goose

Cotton Pygmy Goose

Even though they are called geese, cotton pygmies are actually very small-sized ducks. They belong to the group of perching ducks.

The males have heads and necks of white color and white and green wings. They have red eyes and a black collar at the bottom of their necks which is absent in the females. The female species have thin white markings on the wings.

Cotton pygmy goose builds their nests in holes of trees. They hunt for foods in freshwaters and rainwaters and can be found in Australia and several countries in Southeast Asia.

  • Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

In Chinese, these ducks are called Yuan-yang and can often be seen in Chinese arts and weddings.

The males have short red bills and yellow faces. They have red whiskers down their neck along with a purple chest and orange back.

The female species are mainly brown with white dots all over their body. They have a white ring around their eyes and a white almond-shaped spot beside their eyes.

Mandarin ducks live in woodlands and shallow wetlands. And trees nearby the wetlands.

These ducks can be found in Japan, China, Taiwan, and Russia. Some mandarin ducks are also inhabitants of the USA and Europe.

 

So Many Types of Ducks!

Other than these, there are also many types of ducks that can be found all over the world. If one starts to make a list, it will take them a long time to finish it. However, if you are enthusiastic about ducks, you can take the help of the internet and an ornithologist to broaden your knowledge.

Read Also: 

Do Ducks Eat Frogs?

Can Ducks Eat Grapes?

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Albino Peacock: Facts, Behavior, and Images

Out of all the birds in the world, peacocks are known to be the most stunning of them all. Their brilliant colors, unique patterns, and elegant nature are truly a sight to see, which is why there’s no other bird that can compare to their beauty.

But peacocks aren’t only the blue, green, and gold mix that you’re used to seeing. There’s a vast variety of differently patterned and colored peacocks which resulted in an ongoing debate about which one is most beautiful.

Could it be the Albino Peacock, or Green Peafowl? Or the rare Bornean peacock-pheasant? Truth is, there’s still no title-holder for the world’s most beautiful peacock. But we can look at the contenders and make our own predictions for which could be named the best.

One of the rarest peacock species is the albino peacock. Often called the “Bird of Paradise,” the albino peacock is famous for its all-white color and the tiara-like crests on the top of their heads.

Albino peacocks are not white peacocks. In fact, if you ever come across an all-white peacock, there’s a greater chance of it being a white peacock than an albino peacock. This is because albino peacocks are an extremely rare species of peacocks.

A simple way to differentiate between a white peacock and an albino one is to look at their eyes. If their eyes are red or pinkish and have pale skin surrounding them, you’ve spotted one of the only albino peacocks on the planet.

 

Origin

The albino peacock originates from the Indian Subcontinent. It is believed that there was a genetic mutation that caused a total lack of melanin in some peacocks, which later interbred and gave rise to many albino peacocks.

Soon after the British Empire ruled over the Indian Subcontinent, these albino peacocks were taken to America and Europe, where they multiplied.

While white peacocks aren’t an endangered species, there’s the alternating discourse around whether the same applies to albino peacocks. To this day, albino peacocks are being bred in captivity in countries all over the world to preserve their kind.

 

Habitat

They are more in number in the Indian Subcontinent, Sri Lanka, as well as Congo Basin, a rainforest in central Africa. Albino peacocks enjoy living in woodland and forest areas. Since they are difficult to distinguish from white peacocks, they are often found living alongside them without being noticed.

 

Physical Features

White peacocks achieved their all-white color from genetic mutation, which resulted in them losing pigmentation around their bodies. But they still have some melanin, such as in their eyes and skin.

Albino peacocks, on the other hand, are completely void of melanin. They are born as a pale-yellow color and grow older to be a more striking shade of white. Their eyes are red, or have a pinkish tint, and their skins are pale as their entire body is affected by albinism.

When their feathers are spread out, they resemble the patterns of a snowflake. Unlike the deep blue, green, and golden pattern of the center of peacock feathers, albino peacocks’ feathers are fully white, with slight pale pink details.

 

Behavioral Features

When albino peacocks are interbred with white peacocks or other species of peacocks, there’s a greater chance of the offspring being pied. Pied peacocks have parts of their bodies that are colored, whereas the rest is white.

Just like most peacock species, albino peacocks are territorial and will attack other peacocks for their spots around the habitat. They might also fight over food, mates, and other resources.

When they stretch out their tails, they often make a rustling sound that is similar to that of a drumroll. This is called the “train rattle,” which is a sound most male peacocks make to catch the attention of a potential mate.

 

Other Facts

  • Albino peacocks exist in captivity only, they are rarely found walking about in the wild
  • They usually have a long life of up to 50 years (in captivity).
  • In many religions, they are a symbol of divinity, purity, and spiritual cleansing, especially Hinduism.
  • Because of their absence of color, they are tied to superstitious beliefs. For instance, in China, spotting them is a sign of good fortune.
  • Their total number is a mystery, as many people, even zoologists, mistake them for white peacocks.

Conclusion

That concludes our list of the most beautiful peacock in the world. All the peacocks we’ve listed are just a few of the wide range of peacock species that are speculated to be the most stunning. Again, there’s no order for the list, so whichever is the most gorgeous fully depends on your opinion!

Which peacock from our list do you think deserves to be named the most beautiful peacock? We believe it’s the albino peacock, given its significance to different cultures and unique physical appearance.

Read Also: 

Green Peafowl

Bornean peacock-pheasant

Indian Peafowl 

White Peacocks

Dove vs. Pigeon

Which Brand Is the Best for Binoculars?

How to Clean Binoculars & Their Lenses

 

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