Given the nature and design of peacocks, their nearly 6 feet train of feathers, and long tail, can peacocks fly?
Peacocks are some of the well-known beautiful birds in existence. Their long tail, bright colors, and feathers make them amazing to look at.
Peacocks look almost normal while walking on the ground, trailing their beautiful and impressive features behind. For instance, when they are not moving, you can easily mistake them for any other bird poised to leap into flight if you get closer.
In this article, you will learn more about the peacock’s ability to fly.
Sounds interesting? Keep reading to learn more.
Can Peacocks Fly?
One known characteristic of birds is that they have wings. And by having wings, it is by default that they fly.
As such, peacocks being birds, can flap their wings and take themselves to the skies, with their bountiful tails flowing right behind them.
However, they cannot fly very high nor particularly far at any one time. For instance, it is rare to find a peacock flying for more than 1.6 km.
You might not have seen peacocks often flying as they normally spend the better part of the day on the ground foraging for insects and food. They only fly into trees to roost for the night or flee danger.
For instance, research shows that peacocks spend only 2% of their entire tire flying short distances up into trees to roost at night and between feeding sites.
However, if you have ever been lucky to see a peacock leap from the ground and flap its wings into trees, you must have noticed that peacocks are not especially graceful in flying. The whole peacock’s flying process seems clunkier than in other birds.
How Do Peacocks Fly?
We all know that peacocks have extremely long tails. However, these tails do not affect the flying ability.
Normally, peacocks launch themselves into flight mode almost vertically to clear treetops at the height of up to 8 feet.
After attaining a certain height in the air, they flap their wings rapidly with loud and string wing beats.
Peacocks can twist and turn in the air. They help them in avoiding obstacles when flying. They are also agile.
Once in flight, the tail is spread wide in a fan shape. Besides, peacocks straighten their neck during flights.
Why Do Peacocks Fly?
Peacocks are forced to fly to keep out of the way of predators. They also need to fly to find places to forage for food and to roost in trees at night.
The known natural predators for peacocks are tigers, leopards, mangoes, and stray dogs. As such, roosting higher up in trees at night helps keep them out of sight of these predators. Besides, the disturbance of the tree and branches gives the peacocks time to fly to another tree should the predators attempt to climb the tree.
Peacocks also spend their day-time foraging for food on the ground. However, they may occasionally fly short distances in their search for more food and insects. For instance, peacocks are not fussy eaters.
Their diet includes insects, amphibians, reptiles, and seeds. They have powerful feet perfect for scratching through fallen leaves and killing even snakes such as cobra.
Peacocks feed on insects such as termites, crickets, millipedes, and ants. As such, peacocks do not need to fly to catch these insects as they dwell on the ground.
Generally, all the food that peacocks feed on is ground-based. As such, they do not need to fly to get food. Instead, they spend most of their time on the ground scratching for food.
How High and Far Can Peacocks Fly?
What we will refer to as a flight for peacocks would barely be registered as a takeoff for most of the birds that fly.
When flying into a roost, peacocks allow their legs do most of the work. For instance, a peacock will often begin a run and jump a few times to build up momentum before finally launching itself.
Rapidly lapping their wings allows peacocks to reach heights of about 8 feet, which is double their height.
However, their design and weight do not allow peacocks to stay in the air for long. For instance, although they can gain some distance from launching off higher branches, an average peacock will barely clear a range of longer than 300 feet. This distance is comparable to a turkey but significantly further than a chicken.
How Fast Can Peacocks Fly?
It is extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact flight speed for peacocks. This is because their flight is only vertical and lasts for only a few seconds.
For instance, peacocks only need to fly to descend from or ascend to their roosts and occasionally clear different obstacles. However, these are rare issues because peacocks live in environments that allow them to exist all season without migrating.
Despite peacocks possessing tails that can stretch up to 6 feet, these beautiful tail feathers do not seem to affect how fast a peacock can fly.
Some research shows that an average peacock can reach a flight speed of about ten mph or 16km/h.
At What Age Do Peacocks Learn Flying?
Peahens dot their peafowl chicks. As such, they fully protect them against extreme temperatures as they hug them underneath their wings.
However, since flying is one of the peacock’s primary mechanisms for defense, learning how to fly is a priority.
Peacock chicks can fly within a few days after birth. However, learning the flying fundamentals can be a time-intensive and dangerous process. This is because the chicks can injure themselves whenever they fly at such a tender age.
Peahens will occasionally encourage the peacock chicks to practice their flying techniques during the evenings. Besides, chicks will begin to learn to forage for food and run while still under the watch of their mother.
Therefore. The age peacocks become competent fliers differs from peacock chick to chick. But most chicks acquire adequate flying techniques and skills at about six months of age. This is the time when their mother leaves them.
Can One Stop Peacocks From Flying Away?
Domestic peacocks kept in captives will still manage to roam some distance to search for food during the day. They may also roost in trees far from home at night.
As such, domestic peacock owners tend to clip the wing to help prevent the peacocks from flying away. However, this has proved not to be the solution as peacocks have an incredible ability to jump up to a height of 8 feet.
This, therefore, calls for a suitable fence being installed, which will prevent them from jumping and roaming far away. You should also provide appropriate roosting places off the ground.
It is also important to note that peacocks kept in an enclosure for several weeks soon learn where home is. As such, if you release them, they will be coming back home after feeding and roosting away.
However, neighbors may not appreciate the noise and mess these peacocks can make whenever they roam around their homesteads.
Like most birds, peacocks can fly too. However, they can not fly to higher levels above the ground. They usually spend most of their time foraging on the ground. Therefore, it is rare to see them flying.