Peacocks are known for their sheer beauty, excessively long tail, patterned plumage, and courtship dance. Universally, peacocks symbolize beauty, love, and romance. It is hard to find any other bird with so much charisma and elegance.
Though no bird can match the beauty and grandeur of peafowl, some birds do have somewhat identical features to make the onlooker recall peacocks.
Some of the birds have elongated tails or multicolored eyespots found on the peacock’s train. We have compiled a list of birds that look like peacocks.
Birds That Look Like Peacock
- Crested Argus
- Ocellated Turkey
- Great Argus
- Western Capercaillie
1. Crested Argus
Crested Argus from genus Rheinardia has a stunning peafowl-like appearance with an elongated tail.
However, they do not fan out their train for display purposes like peacocks. Their tail is of unusual size and length in comparison to their weight.
The tail of this Crested Argus is considered to be the longest of any bird with the widest feathers.
Just like peacock’s tail makes up most of the body length, the same goes for Crested Argus as the tail measures to be approximately 1.73 m (5.7 ft) in length.
Contrary to peacocks, their plumage lacks color, however, the female bird species has a more colorful dorsal plumage than the male.
This dark and light brown Crested Argus is excessively shy, difficult to see, and solitary. This elusive bird is easily recognizable with a gigantic tail longer than its body. They can also spread feathers like peacocks.
Like male peacocks, male crested argus also performs various displays to attract females for mating.
This bird is primarily found in Vietnam and Laos in Southeast Asia, that’s why often referred to as Vietnamese Crested Argus.
A small population of this bird species exists in Malaysia as well. Being omnivores, their diet is very similar to that of peacocks including invertebrates, mollusks, amphibians, small reptiles, bamboo shoots, leaves, fruits, and fungi.
The population of this distinct wild bird is constantly threatened due to the loss and destruction of their natural habitat in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Laos.
Hunting activities have also adversely affected the population of Crested Argus.
2. Ocellated Turkey
Ocellated Turkey is just as colorful and vibrant as a peacock, even more so. They are quite similar to Wild Turkey, however, the word “ocellated” is derived from peacock-like ocelli on their tail feathers.
If they had a tail as long as a peacock, they could easily be mistaken as a peafowl. One other trait that makes them similar to peacocks is that do stick up their tail for show.
Watching this amazing display is as if looking at this large, distinctive gamebird through a color filter.
Their distinct baby blue is spattered with red and orange wart-like bumps. Body feathers have a metallic sheen, the shimmery feathers have varying colors from electric blue to green and bronzy-orange and white on wings.
The striking tail reminds you of the famous peacock’s plumes. The iridescent blue-and-gold eyespots (‘ocelli’) on the rump and tail tip make it look like a close relative of a peacock.
In Spanish, it is often called Pavo real, this term describes both royal turkeys and peacocks. Despite its large size, eye-popping plumage, and difficult to ignore appearance, this bird stays hidden amid thick foliage. Ocellated turkeys prefer staying in tropical forests, brushy fields, and adjacent clearings.
Endemic to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, and Belize, this bird likes to stay out of sight and prefers lowland evergreen and abandoned farm plots. They are aggressive like peacocks.
Often found in groups, these birds mostly lurk unseen to stay protected from predators. Ocellated Turkeys, being omnivores and ground feeders, do not shy away from eating seeds, berries, insects, and leaves.
This bird species has been classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to habitat destruction, overhunting, and disease outbreak.
3. Great Argus
Great Argus or Argusianus argus is a pheasant bird species belonging to Southeast Asia. Like the peacocks, this bird also has an excessively lengthy, freight-train-like experience.
The great tail and wing-fanning courtship display, two attributes that describe the Great Argus comprehensively.
Great Argus is not a peacock but looks like a cousin with dull coloration. Like peacocks, Great Argus has numerous ‘eyes’ (ocelli) on its tail feathers.
This species was named by zoologist Carl Linnaeus for the frequent “eye” pattern on its wings. In Greek, it is known as a 100-eyed mythological giant.
Similar to peacocks, the Great Argus has a spectacular breeding display or courtship dance.
Male Great Argus prepares the breeding ground by clearing an open spot and making loud calls to attract females.
The male spreads its tail and wings and dances around a patch of the forest floor in the presence of a female.
These are one of the largest bird species measuring to be 160–200 cm (63–79 in) including a tail of 105–143 cm (41–56 in).
Females are shorter and duller than males, having smaller tails with fewer eyespots. It is a brown-plumaged bird species, not as colorful as peacocks.
Besides the broad, elaborately patterned tail, they have beautiful wings with a wingspan of 0.72 meters.
Adult Great Argus has a blue bald head and neck, black hair-like feathers on the crown and nape, and reddish legs.
These extremely shy, solitary birds only like to interact with birds of their own species.
It likes to remain hidden and come out to feed on the forest floor in the early morning and evening. The Argus mostly eats greens, turkey pellets, mealworms, raw peanuts, and fruits.
Indigenous to the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Sumatra, the bird lives in woodland, deciduous forests, tropical rainforest, and grassy areas. Due to ongoing habitat loss, the population of this bird species is decreasing significantly.
4. Western Capercaillie
Huge, most elusive game bird lets you recall peacocks with the way they hold their tail raised and fanned to attract female birds.
Massive, blackish males have long tails and white shoulder spots. Though they do not have as elongated tails as peacocks, just long enough for an amazing group courtship display of males during the breeding season.
With the population decline, their impressive courtship display has become an increasingly rare sight.
Male and female bird species can be easily distinguished by their size and coloration. Like peahen, the female Western Capercaillie is much smaller than the male and has a brownish color.
In fact, both sexes differ so greatly in size that they are considered one of the most sexually dimorphic living bird species.
Cocks have a body length of 74 to 85 cm (29 to 33 inches) with a wingspan of 90 to 125 cm (35 to 49 in). Capercaillie hen is approximately 54–64 cm (21–25 in) from beak to tail.
The bright red spots of naked skin around their eyes are called ‘roses’ in the German language.
Cocks have dark grey to dark brown feathers with dark metallic green breast feathers. Depending on the breed, the belly and undertail coverts vary from black to white.
Capercaillie hens are brown with black and silver barring and a more light and buffish yellow underside.
Known by many names like Eurasian capercaillie, Wood grouse, Heather cock, Capercaillie, this non-migratory bird is often found in an open pine forest with some small areas of marshland vegetation.
Mostly found in Europe and Northeast Asia, this bird species inhabits conifer forest. Living mostly in cold climates, they have feathers on their legs to protect them against cold.
Birds of Peacock Pheasant Genus
Peacock-Pheasant is a unique bird genus that belongs to the Pheasant family, not genetically related to the true pheasants.
There are only 08 species of peacock-pheasant only distantly related to peafowl. These species have specialized plumage with numerous iridescent orbs.
Most of these birds look like miniature peacocks with round eye-shaped spots (ocelli). Owing to the mixture of attributes of peacocks and pheasant, that’s why they are named as such.
These bird species have a similar appearance and other attributes as peafowl. Members of the Peacock-Pheasants family that looks identical to peacocks include
This medium-sized, ground-dwelling, spectacular bird is native to Palawan. It is the most peacock-like member of the genus Polyplectron with a fairly long tail, erectile crest, highly iridescent electric blue-violet eyespots, and metallic green-turquoise dorsal plumage. The robin-egg blue spots resemble eyes to scare away predators.
During the mating period, they attract females by fanning out their spotted tails in an elaborate, peacock-like courtship display.
Male Palawan is more colorful, vibrant, and less drab than the females. Mainly found in the humid forests of Palawan Island, this bird feeds on seeds, insects, fruits, and slugs.
Endemic to southern Indochina, this peacock lookalike bird was named after the veterinary surgeon Louis Rodolphe Germain.
Male Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant is dark brown to black and finely decorated with large round ocelli, metallic violet-blue, and green in color.
The brown pheasant has red facial skin and is adorned with iridescent sapphire spots all over the body.
This bird is shy, reclusive, and very hard to spot generally inhabiting forests with dense cover.
Germain’s peacock-pheasant are well-aware of their prized physical feature and know how to flaunt it to impress female birds.
They spread out their wings and display them during the courtship display ritual.
This bird species is also called Mirror Pheasant or Rothschild’s Peacock-Pheasant. Indigenous to the Montane forests of the central Malay Peninsula, this bird inhabits foothills and forests.
Mountain Peacock-Pheasant lacks vibrant hues and follows somewhat smaller ocelli patterns. These birds share a close resemblance to peahens in terms of size.
Male birds have small metallic blue ocelli on wings and green ocelli on the tail feathers.
Both males and females have a somewhat similar appearance only females are smaller and drabber.
Mountain peacock-pheasant classed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to the ongoing habitat destruction.
Also known as Crested Peacock-Pheasant or the Malaysian Peacock-Pheasant, this bird species is found in the Malay Peninsula and extreme Southern Thailand.
It looks like a peacock thanks to the ocelli pattern. The brown plumage of the bird is finely spotted with distinctive green ocelli on the mantle and wings.
Due to their small size, they have short crests and shorter tails. These birds are darker in color with yellower facial skin.
To sum up, these were the birds that bear a somewhat close resemblance to the beautiful peafowl. The aforementioned birds are similar to peacocks in one way or another.