Pavo cristatus, Lin.
803. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 506; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 5 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 421; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 212; Game Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 81; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 131.
THE COMMON PEACOCK.
Length, to the end of the true tail, 40 to 48 ; the long train sometimes measures 50 inches or even more; wings, 18; tail, 24.
Bill horny-brown; naked orbits whitish ; irides dark-brown ; legs horny-brown.
Male, head, neck, and breast rich purple with gold and green reflections; back green, the feathers scale-like, with coppery edges; the wings with the inner coverts, including the shoulder, white, striated with black ; the middle-coverts deep blue ; the primaries and tail chesnut; abdomen and vent black, the train chiefly green, beautifully ocellated ; the thigh-coverts yellowish-grey ; head, with a crest of about twenty-four feathers only, webbed at the tip, and green with blue and gold reflections.
The Peahen is chestnut brown about the head and nape; the neck greenish, edged with pale whity-brown ; the upper plumage light hair-brown, with faint wavings, increased on the upper tail-coverts ; quills brown, some of the wing-coverts mottled dusky and whitish ; tail deep brown with whitish tips; chin and throat white ; breast as in the neck; abdomen white, with the lower parts and under tail-coverts brown. Length, 38 to 40 ; wing, 16 ; tail, 14. The crest is shorter and duller in its tints.
The Peacock is not indigenous to Sind, but has been introduced, and appears to be in some portions of the country fairly naturalized. In all other places within our limits the Peacock is fairly common or would be if it was not so persecuted by shikaries.
It is a permanent resident breeding during the rains; the hen scratches a depression in the soil which she lines with a few leaves, generally under cover. The eggs, six or eight in number, are broad oval in shape, creamy white or pale pinkish cafe-au-lait color. They are closely pitted over their whole surface with minute pores. They measure 2.74 inches in length by 2.05 in breadth.