- On Friday, Tanzanian President John Magufuli gifted Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta with four beautiful peacocks as a gesture of their good friendship and relations.
- President Magufuli said he had been deeply touched with Uhuru’s visit and said the four peacocks would be delivered to Kenya soon.
- So, as President Uhuru Kenyatta awaits the delivery of his peacocks, here are some fun facts about the beautiful birds.
On Friday, Tanzanian President John Magufuli gifted Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta with four beautiful peacocks as a gesture of their good friendship and relations.
President Magufuli said he had been deeply touched with Uhuru’s visit and said the four peacocks would be delivered to Kenya soon.
He joked that from the minute Uhuru set his foot at his house, he had been admiring the peacocks which seemed to have also liked him.
“Because of the good friendship I have with him and Kenya, I have been touched, I will give out four of these Peacocks which will be delivered to Nairobi”.
He, however, said when the birds multiply, Uhuru should return the four.
“I have never donated them because they have a historical background but today I feel joy in my heart that it is only prudent to bless the person behind the joy,” he said.
While in Tanzania, President Kenyatta visited President Magufuli’s father’s grave and that of his brothers and also prayed for his mother. The way my mother was holding his hand I can tell you she likes him very much,” Magufuli said.
So, as President Uhuru Kenyatta awaits the delivery of his peacocks, here are some fun facts about the beautiful birds.
1. Not every bird you see is a peacock
The collective term for these birds is “peafowl.” The males are the ones called “peacocks” while the females are “peahens.” The babies are called “peachicks.”
The male peachicks aren’t born with their colourful features. Peachicks actually don’t start growing their showy trains until about age three. At around six months, the males will begin to change color.
One of the main differences between peacocks and peahens is their size. Although they vary in size, males are often as much as twice the size of their female counterparts.
2. They like to ‘party’
A family of peafowl is called a “bevy. A group of the birds is also sometimes called an “ostentation,” a “muster,” or even a “party.”
Peafowl do not enjoy living alone and tend to stay within small groups as they are highly sociable and dependent birds.
3. There are three different types of the species
There are just three different types of species in the peafowl family. Two of these originate in Asia and the other is of African descent. The African species is called the Congo peafowl and originated in the Congo basin. From Asia, the blue (Indian) peafowl and green peafowl.
While peacocks are not considered an endangered species at the moment, the Congo peafowl, in particular, has been listed as vulnerable.
4. They can live up to 50 years
The average lifespan of a peacock in the wild is about 20 years. When they are domesticated, some will live up to 50 years.
5. Peacocks usually pretend to have more sex to attract more females
When peacocks mate with peahens, they give out a loud “copulatory call.” Canadian researchers Roslyn Dakin and Robert Montgomerie discovered that the birds can “fake” this call to attract more females. As the BBC’s Ella Daviesput it, “By pretending they are mating when they are not, the birds could convince females they are more sexually active—and therefore genetically fitter—than their rivals.”
In fact, one-third of the calls heard by researchers were fake, and the birds that made them scored the most hookups.
Peahens have special sensors in their crest that allow them to feel the vibrations of a mate who may be located far away.
According to The Atlantic, the feathers are "tuned to vibrate at the exact same frequencies at which a displaying peacock rattles his tail." Whenever a male peacock fans his tail, he shakes it at a rate of 26 times a second, creating a pressure-wave that literally rattles the female's head for attention.
6. Their beautiful feathers are covered in tiny crystal-like structures
Many people have often wondered what makes the peacock’s feathers so brilliant? Well, Microscopic “crystal-like structures” are responsible for their beautiful nature since they reflect different wavelengths of light depending on how they’re spaced, resulting in bright fluorescent colors.
Hummingbirds and shimmering butterflies have mastered a similar visual effect on their own wings.
7. Their colourful tail is actually called a “train”
The large colorful “tail” which they have become known for, is actually called a “train”.
8. They are omnivorous
The diet of peafowl generally consists of a variety of plants, insects and certain reptiles and amphibians.
9. The average running speed for peacocks is 10 miles per hour (16 kph).