It’s irresistible to look at the peacock’s colorful tail. It’s mesmerizing that you want to look at it over and over again. However, despite the beauty of this bird, it has a behavior that is hard to manage. It screams loud enough that it’s hard to tolerate. If you’re planning to have one, it’s better to inform your neighbors about it before you see them in front of your door complaining. So why do peacocks scream at night?
Peacocks scream at night because they see a danger within the area. They either see an animal or a person doing an unusual activity and the peacock gives you a warning sign. For some other reasons, especially during the day, peacocks scream because they’re looking for a peahen.
The screaming usually happens during the mating season. This season is a bit longer than you expect. So you need to prepare yourself for the screaming. If you’ve decided to own a peacock despite its behavior, let me congratulate you for such a brave decision. Owning a peacock requires a lot of in-depth knowledge that even their screaming must be understood. In this post, you’ll learn about their scream, other behavior, and the mating season.
Why do peacocks scream at night?
Peacocks honk or scream for two reasons. There’s a danger approaching the area or it’s the mating season. Let me discuss each reason so you can identify whether they scream for danger or they scream to get a partner.
The danger in the area
Peacocks’ response to danger depends on the species we’re talking about. Some species are not comfortable with the presence of a human, while some are not bothered by our presence. The Congo peacocks and the green peacocks are more affected than the Indian blue peafowl when humans are present in the area. This is the reason why many peacock raisers prefer the Indian blue peafowl.
You can find the peacocks to have a head that is always moving, vigilant about its surroundings. It’s an indication that they are always alert for the danger that may come at any time. They have different ways of protecting themselves from their natural predators.
For the Indian blue peafowl, they sleep high up in the trees as they seek their protection in that height. On the other hand, the green peacocks are fine with the lowest branch they can reach. They already feel safe at that height.
Alarm calls during threat
Peacocks and peahens issue alarm calls when they’re agitated or disturbed by their predators. They sound different and it increases depending on the danger that’s coming their way. You can hear them with rapid sounds such as kok-kok or ka-aan ka-aan. You can hear them on the loud pitch and even on low-pitch, which depends on the agitation they get.
If they’re agitated during the daytime while they eat, you can hear a low-level alarm call. They check the surroundings to check if there’s a threat. If they find out that there’s a threat, they produce a clucking sound like those you can hear from the chickens. But if there’s no threat, they go back and eat their food.
You can hear bu and bu-girk sounds, which are anti-predator vocalizations. These alarm calls are emitted within 20 minutes from the time they detected a danger.
Peacocks also produce a soft hissing sound that it’s not audible to a human. On the other hand, if there’s a territorial dispute, you can also hear alarm calls from peacocks. You can hear this on male peafowls and not on female peafowls.
Peacocks find mates using alarm calls or what some people call scream or honk. Sexually matured males produce different levels of alarm calls that are associated with reproduction. During the mating season, a peacock follows the lek system in which the peacocks gather together to court a peahen. A peacock follows this system to entice the peahen to mate.
You can hear specific alarm calls during mating season. It’s a loud hoot vocalization in which peacocks emit when it performs a hoot-dash display as they move towards the peahen. The alarm calls come with different pitches and different numbers of notes. A peacock with more than five notes gets paired with peahens faster.
When the peahen is not around when lek is performed, peacocks emit a keow vocalization. This sound helps the peacock so that the peahen can locate it. Hoot and keow vocalization can be heard during the mating season.
The range of the sound that a peacock emits ranges from 150 Hz to 8 kHz.
What months do peacocks mate?
The mating season of peacocks starts around February and ends around the first part of August. In some places, it starts in February while some starts in March. You can ask the seller about it so you’ll have an idea when the peacock starts to get noisy. In case you forget to ask about it, you can use the mating ritual guide below to give you a hint that the season is about to start.
The Lek System
As I mentioned earlier, the peacocks use the lek system to mate with peahens. It’s a mating ritual that they do each time they enter the mating season, which usually occurs during mid to late spring. Being a polygynous species, peacocks can mate with several peahens. So, you’re expecting a series of noise during this season.
You know that they’re lekking when the peacocks establish small territories near each other. They spread their feathers in fan shape while shaking it. They move the feathers back and forth to attract the peahens. During the lek, you can observe that the peahens check every territory while examining the peacock’s full feather display. It’s the peahens’ way of selecting a mate.
The Lucky Peacock
To be picked by a peahen, a peacock must perform its best feather show or the hoot. This is a challenging situation for the peacock. Because even if there’s a lot of peahens around, if they’re not interested in the peacock, the peahens will turn the peacock down. So, you can hear loud calls from the peacock as it continues to convince a peahen.
Even though we’re fascinated with the feather show of a peacock, peahens look for the lower portion of the peacock’s train and their legs as well. If the peacock passes the standard, mating begins.
The mating happens when the peacock mounts the peahen to do the cloacal kiss. The cloacal kiss is the alignment of the peafowls’ cloaca so that the peacock can transfer its sperm to the peahen. The mating happens in seconds. When done a peacock finds another mate.
The Peafowl Attack
During the mating season, a peacock attacks another peacock when it wants to keep the peahen exclusive when mating. Peacocks don’t want intruders in their territory during the mating season. So, you can expect another alarm call in this situation.
On the other hand, when a peahen has laid eggs and you come close to it, you must expect that it’ll attack you. They look at you as a threat so their instinct tells them to attack you. If they are with their peachicks and you go nearby, expect that they’ll attack you too. So, during mating season, watching them is enough to avoid problems. Don’t be tempted to check their eggs as you may get wounded by their sharp claws.
A successful mating can yield up to eight eggs. These eggs are incubated by the peahen by sitting on the eggs. It takes 28 days until you see a newly hatched peachick. Because of the long duration of the incubation, they should be raised properly.
In practice, peachicks are raised in a draft-free brooder. The brooder must have enough clean water, and starter feed. The temperature of the brooder is regulated starting from 95 F and reduced by 5 F each week. It’s time for them to leave the brooder once they are fully feathered, which takes around eight weeks.
When they reach their mature stage, they can weigh up to 13 pounds.
How do you keep a peacock quiet?
Keeping a peacock quiet is impossible unless you put the peacock in surgery. However, this is a dangerous procedure as infection may occur that leads to the death of a peacock. If you have several peacocks, it’s not practical to put each one of them to surgery.
Unfortunately, surgery is the only solution to make the peacock keep quiet. But the good news is that you can minimize the sound they make. It’s natural for them to be noisy because they need to find a mate and they need to protect themselves during danger. If I’ll choose between a noisy and a quiet peacock, I’ll go for the noisy one to allow the peacock to reproduce and to be safe.
If you plan to buy a peacock, you must consider the space in the area you have. Is it too small for the peacock to roam around? If your answer to this question is yes, then your place is not ideal for a peacock’s habitat.
The ideal place for them must be wide enough that they can’t be tempted to go to your neighbor’s yard. It must be big enough that you can isolate them so when they make a noise you can hardly hear them or at least hear a bit of sound from them. This one of the best solutions so you won’t be annoyed with their screaming.
Radio in the shelter
Peacocks get too noisy when they sense a predator. One of the quick fixes that you can do so no predators come within their shelter is putting a radio near them. The peacocks won’t get disturbed by the radio and the predators won’t bother to come nearby. When there’s no threat around, they remain to keep quiet.
Soundproofing insulation can help minimize the noise from the shelter once you install it. This is helpful especially during the mating season where you can hear the peacocks every night. If you have neighbors, they will thank you for doing such a gesture of adding soundproofing on your peacock’s shelter.
However, it’s important to take note that it’s better to minimize the sound that you hear from the peacock than not to hear anything at all. Hearing their noise is essential to give you cues if they’re being attacked by predators. It’s unfortunate to see them die the next day because predators attacked them.
Although it may take some time to grow a tree, adding trees to your backyard can help to reduce the sound that your neighbors hear. Treelines can work as a windbreak, which also helps in minimizing the sounds. It’s tempting to plant your tree but if your goal is to make a windbreak, it’s better to hire an agriculturist.
What are some behavioral adaptations of a peacock?
Although peacocks originally live in the wild, they still carry their behavioral adaptations even when you pet them. They do these adaptations to survive. The adaptations they have include the use of its colored long tail to attract a partner. Another adaptation is the peahens’ drab color allowing them to camouflage as they sit on their eggs. You can also see spurs on their back, which helps them during a fight. Lastly, you can see them easily roost in trees as their toes have three pointing forward and one pointing backward.
It’s natural for peacocks to create noise because it’s their genetic makeup. They need to make a noise so they can make themselves and other peacocks nearby safe against predators. They also need to attract a partner to mate. You can use the suggested ways I mentioned above to minimize the noise of the peacocks. Even though their alarm calls are annoying, you need to bear with them. After all, a peacock’s tail is mesmerizing no matter what.