Peacocks are large, beautiful birds known for their breathtaking feathers. They are all grouped under the Peafowl family, of which there are 3 known species of peacocks. Peacocks are pretty much always seen walking about and strutting their stuff on the ground, so do, and can peacocks actually fly?
Peacocks are capable of flying, but not for very long periods of time or distance. In fact, it's rare for a peacock to fly for more than a mile (1.6 km). Most of the time, peacocks won't fly unless they are pressed to avoid danger and threats, cross obstacles such as rivers, or fly up into trees to roost at night.
Peacock in flight
Peacocks have extremely long tails, but this doesn't affect their ability to fly. They launch themselves into the air almost vertically to clear the treetops at heights of up to 8 metres. Once they're at a suitable height, they rapidly flap their wings with strong and loud wing beats.
Once flying, peacocks are very good at avoiding obstacles as they're agile and able to twist and turn in the air. The tail in flight is spread wide in a fan shape. The neck is also straightened during flight.
Peacocks are large birds and can only fly for short distances of usually less than 1 mile. They have powerful legs, which means they are strong walkers, and generally cover between 3 and 4 kilometres per day, foraging for food on the ground instead of flying for it.
This doesn't mean they'll never fly short distances in search of food, as from time to time they will, but they generally prefer walking.
Peacocks are capable of reaching flight speeds of around 10mph (16km/h).
Peacocks jumping high up in the air
Baby Peacocks can technically fly from around only a few days old (usually about 3 days old), as their flight feathers develop very early. However, they don't tend to for a few weeks after this as they may injure themselves or fall when they are really young.
Yes, both male and female peacocks are able to fly and have pretty much the exact same ability and method.
Domestic peacocks tend to have their wings clipped, which stops them from being able to fly away. But even with their wings clipped, peacocks have a pretty incredible ability to jump of heights of up to 8 metres.
This means if you're keeping peacocks in captivity and want to avoid them escaping, they'll need relatively high fences to keep them confined. However, peacocks that are kept in enclosures for a short while soon learn to come back to, for roosting and feeding - however, neighbours may not appreciate them roaming about as they can cause a fair bit of noise and mess.
Get the latest BirdFacts delivered straight to your inbox