Types Of Peacocks – Explanation & Visual Guide

There are three main types of peafowl. Which means, that by extension, there are three types of peacocks (male peafowl). I bet you didn’t know that tidbit of info. Female peafowl are called peahen.

Peafowl is a common name for three species of birds in the genera Pavo and Afropavo of the Phasianidae family, the pheasants and their allies. Male peafowl are referred to as peacocks and female peafowl as peahens.


These types of birds are the largest flying birds in existence today (ostriches don’t fly). Some species of peafowl can grow up to 9 feet tall! Imagine that flying toward you!

Not to worry though, their tail feathers make up for 60% of their length and most peafowl weigh between 8 and 13 pounds. Regardless of their size, these types of animals are beautiful and make for good bird watching.

With regard to species, there are two species of peafowl: the Asiatic peafowl (Pavo) or the Congo peafowl (Afropavo congensis). Let’s look at the different peacock breeds and where they fall in terms of species.

Congo Peacock

Congo Peacock.
Congo Peacock.

These types of peacock do not have the impressive display of colors like other species of peafowl but they do have bright-blue on their upper bodies while their wings have emerald-green coloring. Congo peacocks are the only type of peacock that is native to the African continent.

The Congo peafowl, known as the African peafowl or mbulu by the Bakôngo, is a species of peafowl native to the Congo Basin. It is one of three extant species of peafowl, the other two being the Indian peafowl and the green peafowl. 


These animals inhabit lowland rainforests, slopes between streams, and feed mainly on plant parts, seeds, and fruits. The Congo peafowl, in my opinion, looks like a colorful turkey. Refer to the above video, I bet you can’t unsee it.

Green Peacock

Green Peacock.
Green Peacock.

Unlike the related Indian peafowl, the sexes of green peafowl are quite similar in appearance, especially in the wild. They are also known as Javanese peacock and they have a fan-shaped crest resting on the top of their heads.

Green peafowl displaying its feathers.

The green peafowl is a species of peafowl found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. It is also known as the Java peafowl, but this term is properly used to describe the nominate subspecies endemic to the island of Java in Indonesia.


Indian Peacock

Indian Peacock.
Indian Peacock.

Of the three types of peacocks, the Indian peacock is the most popular. It is predominantly blue with a fan-like crest of spatula-tipped wire-like feathers and is best known for the long train made up of elongated upper-tail covert feathers which bear colorful eyespots. These stiff and elongated feathers are raised into a fan and quivered in a display during courtship.

The Indian peafowl or blue peafowl, a large and brightly colored bird, is a species of peafowl native to the Indian subcontinent but introduced in many other parts of the world.


Fun facts about the peacock:

  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Lifespan: Indian peafowl: 10 – 25 years
  • Family: Phasianidae
  • Mass: Indian peafowl: 8.8 – 13 lbs, Green peafowl: 8.5 – 11 lbs
  • Clutch size: Indian peafowl: 4 – 8, Green peafowl: 3 – 6
  • Length: Indian peafowl: 3.3 – 3.8 ft., Green peafowl: 5.9 – 9.8 ft., Congo peafowl: 2.1 – 2.3 ft.

White Peafowl

White Peacock.
White Peacock.

White peafowl are a color variety of the Indian Blue Peacock. They are considered leucistic, a condition that affects the birds’ feathers and turns them pale or white.

This is not a form as albinism as they still maintain pigmentation in their eyes. Nonetheless, they are beautiful types of peacocks (check him out in the video below).

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