Why Do Peacocks Spread Their Feathers?

Ever stopped for a while to admire the beauty of peacock feathers? Ever went the extra mile to see a peacock with its feathers spread out, giving a spectacular sight? Ever wondered why this wonderful creature spreads its feathers out?

Most of us have lived our lives thinking that peacocks and peahens spread their feathers to show off their beauty, do they “really” spread out to show off?

For the record, peacocks and peahens both display their feathers, not to give the visitors a spectacular view but for other purposes. What’s more surprising is that peacocks and peahens do not spread their feathers for the same reasons.

In today’s post, we have decided to reveal the peacock’s mystery. So, let’s find out why we often get to see these birds displaying their majestic beauty.

Why Do Peacocks Spread their Feathers?

As mentioned above, peacocks and peahens spread their feathers for different reasons. The Peacocks spread their feathers to scare predators away, part of the courting ritual, and to show aggression.

As a part of courting ritual

In the peacock and peahen world, it’s the peacock’s job to court a peahen.

Peacocks have been blessed with impressive feathers, so they spread out and shake their majestic feathers to attract a mate.

Most of you might not know that there is usually strict competition between peacocks when it comes to attracting a peahen.

So, as it is the peacock’s job to court a peahen, it spreads its feathers and shakes a little to get the peahen’s attention.

Sometimes they even walk along the peahens afterward to attract them as well.

To scare predators away

Peacocks, which are known to be aggressive, fiercely territorial birds, also get attacked quite often.

To appear bigger and scare mongooses, stray dogs, leopards, tigers, and jungle cats away, peacocks often spread their feathers.

To show aggression

Peacocks rarely spread feathers to show aggression to their fellow peacocks in ostentation. They rather attack their fellas to show aggression.

However, they can show aggression to humans either by spreading their feathers or by attacking them as well.


Why Do Peahens Spread their Feathers?

As we are discussing peacocks here, ignoring peahens would not be fair. Peahens, even though they hardly have as impressive feathers as peacocks, spread their feathers as well. The peahens usually spread their feathers;

  • When they feel threatened
  • To show aggression

Peahens do not have to attract peacocks to mate, females do so when they are threatened.

They spread and shake their feathers in the same manner as peacocks do to attract a female.

Other than that, the peahens can also show aggression by spreading their feathers when someone tries to approach their eggs.

In both situations, peahens spread their feathers to appear more intimidating and bigger. Moreover, they can spread their wings to scare predators away as well.

So, the peacocks usually spread their feathers to attract a mate or to show aggression whereas, the peahens spread and shake their feathers when they are either threatened or when they want to appear bigger and intimidating to the predators.

Even though the peacock mystery has been revealed there is still a lot left to be communicated. As it’s our job to serve all the worth-knowing information, here’s what else you need to know;

Peacocks and their Unusual Feathers Behavior

Peacocks take pride in displaying their feathers

The peacocks have more worth-displaying feathers than the peahens.

It’s also one of the reasons why peacocks put up a spectacular view more often whereas the peahens prefer not to spread their wings unless they are threatened or have to show aggression.

As the cameo peacocks have been blessed with spectacular feathers, why would they not want to show off to display their beauty or to attract a mate?

The peacock spread out their feathers to tell he is an excellent candidate

Most of the peacocks have to live in a competitive environment. In pride, peahens have several more than one option.

Sometimes, there goes a very tough competition when it comes to mating.

The peacock, in such a competitive environment, spreads the feathers to tell the opposite sex that he is handsome and can be an excellent candidate to mate.

Peacocks have large colorful tails and distinctive eye patterns, they consider it worth-displaying
Peahens and peacocks can be recognized by their feathers.

The peacocks have more colorful tails and distinctive eye patterns than the peahens. Their feathers are brighter and flashy as well.

Whereas, the peahens have a bit shorter and muted feathers. So, the bright flashy colors and distinctive patterns make peacocks spread their feathers.

Peacock has claws, beaks, and spurs but they choose to show aggressive by spreading their feathers
Peacocks are taken as aggressive, fiercely territorial birds.

They have all the needed equipment to fight; claws, beaks, and spurs that they can fight with. Yet the peacocks prefer to spread and shake their feathers to show aggression.

They choose to appear bigger and intimidating to show aggression and scare predators away.

The peahens have never spread their feathers as a courting ritual

It’s the peacock who makes the first move. The peahens do not have to attract peacocks to mate, it’s the peacocks’ job.

So, the peahens might have never flashed their feathers for the said purpose.

Peacock belongs to the category of birds that prefer to puff themselves up to scare humans and predators away

There are some birds out there that prefer to puff themselves up to scare predators away.

The peacocks and Peahens belong to the category of those birds that try to scare and attract mates by puffing themselves up.

The peacocks can spread their feathers up to 2+ meters

The peacocks and peahens spread their feathers to appear bigger and intimidating, they are always successful in doing so. As when the peacocks spread their feathers they get 2+ meters tall.

When walking along does not attract the mate, spreading feathers would always help

The peacocks either walk along or spread their feathers to attract a mate.

Walking along may or may not attract the peahens but spreading feathers would always get peacocks the attention they deserve.

The peahens love this display just as much as we do

Whenever peacocks spread their feathers out, we prefer to stop for while to admire this work of art.

The peahens, even though they have more or less the same feathers, adore this spectacular view just as much as we do.

The feathers appear brighter and flashy to the peahens than humans and other birds. Peahens have got no option but to get attracted to the bright and flashy display.

The peacocks spread their feathers and chase after the peahens until they get the attention

The peacocks spread their feathers, if the peahens get attracted immediately, they end up mating right away.

If the peahens do not get attracted, the peacocks with their feathers spread out keep chasing until they get the well-deserved peahens’ attention.

Peacocks bless us and the peahens with this spectacular view more often in March and April
March-April is said to be the mating season for Peacocks. Most of us buy peacocks for their beautiful appearance.

No doubt, we get to see this view almost every other day but the peacocks begin spreading their feathers more often in these months.

This is the reason why we get to see peacocks with their feathers spread out more often in March and April.

In brief, spreading feathers is just not a display of beauty. The peacocks spread their feathers as a part of the courting ritual, to appear intimidating to the predators, and to show aggression.

Whereas the peahens spread their feathers when they sense danger or when they have to show aggression.

Peacocks begin displaying their feathers more in mating season, they spread out and shake their feathers to attract the peahens.

They walk along the peahens with their feathers spread out until they get the attention they deserve.


  • Hi, I am Talon Juper, a passionate farmer, and Livestock Expert. I have done my graduation in Agriculture and Animal breeding. Relevant to Farm Desire as a research writer and data recorder.

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