Behavior of Indian Peafowl Pavo Linn. 1758 During the Mating Period in a Natural Population

S. Harikrishnan, Karthikeyan Vasudevan*, K. Sivakumar
Wildlife Institute of India, P.O. Box 18, Dehradun 248001, Uttarakhand, India

© 2010 Harikrishnan et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Wildlife Institute of India, P.O. Box 18, Dehradun 248001, Uttarakhand, India; Tel: +91-135-264011; Fax: +91-135-2640117; E-mail:


Behavioral observations on Indian peafowl Pavo cristatus in the Shivalik landscape of North India were carried out during their mating period, between 31 March and 21 May 2006. Behaviors of peafowl were recorded using scan samples. Overall, females, sub-adult males and adult males spent different proportions of time in different activities, and the proportion of time spent on different activities varied during the mating season. Visitation by females influenced the frequency of displays by adult male Indian peafowl during this period. The study reveals that peafowl behavior in its native habitat broadly conforms to that documented from captive and introduced populations. However, there were some differences between the wild and captive populations in vocalizations, maintenance behavior and spatial distribution of adult males. Since the time spent engaging in these behaviors may affect the cost of display, these results emphasize the need to assess the signaling cost in situ where the behavior evolved.

Keywords: Peafowl, breeding behaviour, exploded leks, time-activity budgets, in situ behaviour.