Male vs Female Peacocks: How to Tell the Difference (With Pictures)

Male vs Female Peacocks

Last Updated on December 30, 2023 by Fumipets

Male vs Female Peacocks: Unveiling the Differences


Peacocks, with their resplendent plumage and captivating displays, have long been symbols of beauty and elegance in the avian world. While both male and female peafowls contribute to the enchanting allure of these birds, it’s the male peacock that typically steals the spotlight with its vibrant feathers and majestic courtship dances.

However, beyond their striking appearances, there are intriguing differences between male and female peacocks. In this exploration, we delve into the distinctions that set these magnificent birds apart.

Male vs Female Peacocks

The main distinction between male and female peacocks is that the male is officially referred to as a peacock and the female as a peahen. Peafowl is the correct word for all of these species, regardless of their gender. You can tell which peafowl you are engaging with by observing a few additional characteristics between the sexes. We go through four key distinctions between male and female peafowl that you should be aware of.

At a Glance

male vs female peacock visual


  • Average length (adult): 7.5 ft including tail
  • Average weight (adult): 9- 13 pounds
  • Lifespan: Up to 20 years
  • Family-friendly: No
  • Other pet-friendly: Rarely


  • Average length (adult): 3.5 ft including tail
  • Average weight (adult): 6 – 9 pounds
  • Lifespan: Up to 20 years
  • Family-friendly: Not advised
  • Other pet-friendly: Rarely


The pigmentation of the two sexes of peafowl is the most noticeable distinction. The males are the most alluring of the two, with vivid blue and/or green feathers that, when they are completely extended, are difficult to look away from. During mating season, their vivid feathers are intended to entice females.

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Feathers on female peafowl might be completely blue or green or are at least more subdued than those on males. Many females have dark or gray feathers, which aid them in hiding from predators when they approach too closely. Peahens have white bellies, whereas peacocks have blue or green stomachs to match their plumage.


peacock pair-pixabay

The size of a peafowl might also reveal the sex of the bird. Peacocks normally weigh between 9 and 13 pounds once they reach adulthood and are substantially bigger than peahens. Females often weigh 6 to 9 pounds. When fully mature, the male peafowls are likewise around a foot longer than the females. Another distinction is tail size.

The peacock has a long, colorful tail that may reach a spectacular length of 75 inches. Females have tails that are between 2 and 6 inches shorter. They are unable to spread their tails out like their male colleagues because their tail feathers are dull. During mating season, the male’s tail comes in useful and aids in providing protection from predators.

Head and Neck

The blue feathers on a peacock’s long, graceful neck resemble silky fur. Peahens also have long necks, but they have feathers that resemble scales more than fur since they are often bluish or green in color. Boys cannot fluff the feathers on their necks as girls can. Additionally, their ocular markings differ somewhat.

Both sexes have prominent white markings above and below the eyes, although the patterns under the eyes of females usually match the color of their skin, making them harder to discern than those beneath the eyes of males. Additionally, a peafowl’s head crest has different feathers depending on the sex. Long shafts that extend upward from the bird’s head and support tiny clusters of feathers make up the crest. Males normally have blue crest feathers, while females commonly have brown or tan ones.

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Male and female peafowl behave differently throughout the day. Males fan their tails out anytime they wish to attract a female’s attention or make a good impression. When battling with other peahens or warning other peafowl of danger nearby, females ruffle their tail feathers rather than fan them. While females tend to the young and construct nests throughout the day, males spend the majority of their time alone. Peafowl females tend to be friendlier than males, but they are also often more territorial.


The next time you encounter a bunch of peafowls congregating, you should be able to identify the males from the females within a short period of time. Do you have any other suggestions about how to distinguish between male and female peafowl? If so, please feel free to mention it below in the comments.

Questions & Answers


What Is the Most Obvious Difference Between Male and Female Peacocks?

The most striking difference between male and female peacocks is their plumage. Male peacocks, known as peacocks, boast iridescent and flamboyant feathers, while female peacocks, referred to as peahens, have more subdued and camouflaged plumage.


Do Male and Female Peacocks Display Different Behaviors?

Yes, male and female peacocks exhibit distinct behaviors, especially during the breeding season. Male peacocks engage in elaborate courtship displays, showcasing their feathers and emitting loud calls to attract females. Female peacocks are more discreet and typically choose mates based on the males’ displays.


Are There Differences in Size Between Male and Female Peacocks?

Yes, there are size differences between male and female peacocks. Male peacocks are generally larger and have longer tails, while female peacocks are smaller and have shorter tails. This size disparity is more noticeable during the breeding season when males flaunt their plumage.


Do Male and Female Peacocks Have Different Roles in Raising Chicks?

Yes, male and female peacocks play different roles in raising their chicks. After laying eggs, peahens are primarily responsible for incubating and protecting the eggs. Once the chicks hatch, both parents may contribute to their care, with the male providing protection and the female offering warmth.

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Are There Any Other Subtle Differences Between Male and Female Peacocks?

While plumage and size are the most prominent differences, there are subtler distinctions. For example, male peacocks tend to have longer and more colorful neck feathers, known as hackles, compared to the females. Additionally, males often have more prominent spurs on their legs, which can be used for defense.




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