Thursday, January 29, 2009
Merak Hijau (Green Peacock)
This green peacock (Pavo Muticus) is one of Bandung Zoo's aviary collections. Green peacock is one of the three species of peacocks. The other two species are the blue or Indian peacock (Pavo Cristatus) and the Congolese African peacock (Afropavo Congensis).
The green peacock is native to and can still be found wild on the Indonesia's island of Java (I've seen it myself once in Meru Betiri National Park in the eastern tip of the Island). It can also be found in Indochina, particularly Burma (Myanmar). Its blue sibling, meanwhile, is found mostly on the Asian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh).
Although quite a misnomer, the name "peacock" is generally used to refer to both male and female individuals of this bird. Technically the name "peacock" only applies to the male bird. The female bird is called "peahen", and together they are called "peafowl".
The famous iridescent tail of this bird belongs to the the male species (the peacock) and is used to attract the female (the peahen) in courtship and mating rituals.
Peafowl is omnivorous ground feeder and its diets mainly consist of insects, small animals, and plants.
Peafowl is an important bird for the Javanese and Sundanese (the people and language of West Java). Its beauty has long inspired several forms of art performances. One of them is Tari Merak (The Peacock Dance) whose photos and story I posted earlier here.