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Tail feathers and a great strut keep all eyes on this beauty.

Peacock at the Zoo

Posted February 7, 2013. Photo courtesy of Carmen Sanchez.

Magnificent peacocks show off brilliant plumage as they court the less ornate peahens. Big fans of feathers with symmetry and bright colors demonstrate health. Persistent tail fanning, quill rattling and wing beating eventually entice the female. And every spring at the Zoo, peahens are seen with tawny-colored peachicks in tow.

Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) have a distinctive “kee-OW” call, used to announce a male’s presence during mating season or to sound an alarm if threatened. Listen to the peacock’s call. Sometimes you can hear them call in the evening, when they fly into trees to roost.

Learn more about animal courtship this Saturday at The Birds and the Beasts, a special adults-only Valentine’s tour of the Zoo. Docents will divulge details of animals’ curious romantic rituals and the Zoo’s role as a match-maker for endangered species.

What’s your favorite display of love? Join the (G-rated!) conversation on Facebook.

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