There is nothing more mesmerizing than to watch a peacock spread their incredible eye-spotted tail feathers or train and perform an elaborate dance.
But, of course, you have a higher probability of witnessing peacocks dance if you spot them in a rainstorm.
It’s a widespread belief that the peacock dance is a signal of the onset of the monsoon. But there is far more science attached to it than that meets our eye! So, why do peacocks dance? Read on to unravel the mystery!
Why do Peacocks Dance in the Rain?
The scientific truth is that the peacock dances in the rain to attract their potential mates.
It is contrary to the popular legend and myth that the peacock dances to indicate the onset of the monsoon.
When Do Peacocks Dance? Can Peacocks Predict Rain?
We already know that the peacock dances as a mating ritual. The peacock’s mating season starts in spring when most animals feel the urge to mate. In Asia, it begins around May, which is the beginning of the monsoon season in the area.
It is because of this coincidence that people believe that peacocks predict rain. However, this is not true. Their dancing and rain have no connection.
Which peacock Dance? A Male Peacock or a Female Peahen?
As often seen in nature, it is the males who take the initiative to attract the females for mating. The peafowls are no exception. Here, too, the males dance.
Peacocks and peahens are together called peafowls. Peacocks, the males, are recognized by their long trains or tail feathers, and peahens, in contrast, have short tail feathers.
Peacock Dancing and Rain
Peacock dancing implies them spreading their train and dancing to impress the peahens for mating. The rain helps them become more alluring and attractive to the females.
The male peafowl, i.e., the peafowls, have stunning tail feathers to attract the peahens for mating. The feathers are extensive and boldly colored with tiny crystal-like structures called eyespots scattered over them.
When the peacock dances after spreading the feathers, the eyespots bend and reflect light in a strange way to make the peacock look vibrant and eye-catching.
The rain droplets dampen them and enhance their glistening. It helps make the peacock more alluring to the peahens.
How do Peacocks Dance? The Mating Ritual
The peacock’s dance is also called its courtship dance. It is touted to display the male peacock’s energy, muscular power, and fitness that would eventually impress the peahens.
To start the dancing, the peacocks first lift its tail and open them to form a full semi-circular fan or a half-moon expanse. Then the peacock shakes the tail sensuously.
It rattles the feathers and produces a rattling sound and a mesmerizing view of loose feather barbs moving to and fro. The eyespots also make a pattern at the end of the feather’s shaft.
The peacock also makes another movement, the ‘train-shivering’. It is executed by strumming the tail feathers against the train. The movement is such that it makes the eyespots remain almost still but makes the train sway left and right.
Apart from this, the peacock does some legwork by moving around in neat circles. It also makes a yodeling sound to attract the peahens.
The Science of the Peacock’s Dance
There is fascinating science behind the peacock’s dance. A few noteworthy facts to know are:
- The peacocks rattle their feathers 25 times per second.
- The still eyespots of the ‘train-shivering’ movement are considered influential in increasing the mating probability of the peacocks.
- The eye spots’ microscopic structure reveals that the barbs are hooked and held tightly via micro hooks. It helps the eye spots retain their solid shape when the train feathers shimmer and move.
- Generally, the size does not affect any peacock’s success. However, a more endowed male will have a heavier train feather that would need more energy to shake. Hence, it makes a better display of its power.
The Peahen’s Choice
On the surface, the peahen appears to ignore the males while they spread their train and perform the mating dance ritual. But they do observe it covertly and finally choose their mate.
The visual display of the feathers and the eyespots is their deciding factor. However, evidence also suggests that the vibrations, trumpet-like sounds while dancing, and the dance of feathers moving and shaking play a vital role in helping the peahen decide on her mate.
Most often, the peahens choose males with a bigger and healthier plumage that has abundant eye spots. However, they reject peacocks with plumage beyond a certain threshold as they might become too burdensome to handle.
Do Peacocks Cry Before Rain? Why Does Peacock Cry While Dancing?
The cry of the peacocks before rain is a part of the mating ritual to attract the peahens.
Peacocks are, by nature, noisy birds. They get noisier during the breeding season. They make strange cries while dancing to attract the females and when they see any peahen.
Furthermore, they make a unique sound of a bell-like whoop just before mating with the female peahen.
Peacock Dancing in The Rain Pictures
Peacock Dancing Video
Peacocks definitely flaunt a uniqueness in their breeding method. It is fascinating and mesmerizing for any viewer. We hope you enjoyed knowing about it as much as we did compile it.
Do get back to us with your queries, suggestions, or any feedback!