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Peacock vs. Peahen: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 13, 2024
Peacocks are male peafowl with vibrant, ornate tails, while peahens are females with more subdued colors and shorter tails.

Key Differences

Peacocks are known for their colorful and expansive tail feathers, used in courtship displays. Peahens have shorter, less colorful tails and lack the extravagant plumage of peacocks.
The tail of a peacock can span up to 60% of its body length, featuring eye-like patterns. In contrast, peahens have a more muted brown or grey plumage, providing camouflage.
Peacocks use their showy tails to attract mates, a classic example of sexual selection. Peahens choose mates based on the size, color, and quality of the peacock's display.
Vocalizations of peacocks are loud and can be heard over a distance, used for communication and attracting peahens. Peahens are generally quieter and have more subtle calls.
In terms of behavior, peacocks can be more aggressive, especially during mating season. Peahens are more docile and focused on nesting and rearing young.

Comparison Chart

Tail Feathers

Long, Colorful, Ornate
Shorter, Less Colorful

Purpose of Tail

Courtship Display

Mating Behavior

Showy Displays
Chooses Mate Based on Display


Loud, Distinctive Calls
Quieter, Subtle Calls

Behavioral Traits

Aggressive During Mating
Docile, Focused on Nesting

Peacock and Peahen Definitions


A peacock is a male peafowl known for its colorful and expansive tail.
The peacock spread its tail feathers in a stunning display.


Peahens have shorter tails and lack the vibrant plumage of peacocks.
The peahen's modest plumage was overshadowed by the peacock's display.


Peacocks are a symbol of beauty and pride in various cultures.
The majestic peacock was revered in the ancient royal gardens.


Peahens have quieter calls compared to peacocks.
The peahen's call was a soft contrast to the peacock's loud cries.


Peacocks have loud calls used for communication and attracting mates.
The peacock's call echoed through the forest.


A peahen is a female peafowl with more subdued coloring.
The peahen walked gracefully, blending into the forest floor.


Peacocks use their tails in elaborate courtship rituals.
The peacock strutted around the garden, showing off its tail.


Peahens select mates based on the display of peacocks.
The peahen observed the peacocks, choosing the most vibrant one.


Peacocks are notable for their ornate plumage and eye-catching patterns.
A peacock's plumage shimmered in the sunlight.


Peahens are focused on nesting and rearing their young.
The peahen carefully tended to her nest in the underbrush.


A male peafowl, distinguished by its crested head, brilliant blue or green plumage, and long modified back feathers that are marked with iridescent eyelike spots and that can be spread in a fanlike form.


A female peafowl.


A peafowl, either male or female.


A female peafowl.


A vain or ostentatious person.


The hen or female peafowl.


To strut about like a peacock; exhibit oneself vainly.


Female peafowl


A male peafowl, especially Pavo cristatus, notable for its brilliant iridescently ocellated tail.


A peafowl (of the genus Pavo or Afropavo), either male or female.


A vainglorious person from the 14th c..


(entomology) Any of various Asian species of papilionid butterflies of the genus Papilio.


(intransitive) To strut about proudly or haughtily.


(intransitive) To engage in peacocking, ostentatious dress or behaviour to impress women.


The male of any pheasant of the genus Pavo, of which at least two species are known, native of Southern Asia and the East Indies.


In common usage, the species in general or collectively; a peafowl.


European butterfly having reddish-brown wings each marked with a purple eyespot


Male peafowl; having a crested head and very large fanlike tail marked with iridescent eyes or spots


Why do peacocks have colorful feathers?

Peacocks have colorful feathers for courtship displays to attract peahens.

Do peahens have tail feathers like peacocks?

No, peahens have shorter and less colorful tail feathers.

What is a peahen?

A peahen is a female peafowl, with more subdued plumage compared to a peacock.

Can peacocks fly?

Yes, peacocks can fly, but they are not long-distance fliers.

Where can you find peahens in the wild?

Peahens live in the same habitats as peacocks, like forests and grasslands.

What is a peacock?

A peacock is a male peafowl, known for its vibrant and large tail feathers.

How long do peacocks live?

Peacocks can live for about 20 years in the wild.

What is the diet of a peahen?

Peahens also have an omnivorous diet similar to peacocks.

What role do peahens play in mating?

Peahens choose their mates based on the attractiveness of the male's display.

Are peahens good flyers?

Peahens can fly but typically only for short distances or to perch.

What do peacocks eat?

Peacocks are omnivores, eating insects, plants, and small creatures.

What is the lifespan of a peahen?

Peahens also have a lifespan of around 20 years.

Where do peacocks naturally live?

Peacocks are native to South Asia and parts of Africa.

Do peahens take care of the young?

Yes, peahens are primarily responsible for nesting and caring for chicks.

What are baby peafowl called?

Baby peafowl are called peachicks.

Are peacocks aggressive?

Peacocks can be aggressive, especially during mating season.

Do peacocks participate in raising the young?

No, peacocks do not typically help in raising the young.

How do peahens choose their mates?

Peahens choose mates based on the size, color, and quality of the peacock's tail display.

How do peacocks attract peahens?

Peacocks attract peahens through their colorful tail displays and calls.

Can peacocks and peahens be different colors?

Yes, there are several varieties of peafowl with different color patterns.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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