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National Bird of India

Peacock is the National Bird of India

In 1963, the Peacock was declared the National Bird of India because of its rich religious and legendary involvement in Indian traditions. The criteria for this choice were many. The bird must be well-distributed within the country so it could truly 'national'. It must be recognisable to the common man. It must lend itself to formal depiction, i.e. abstract depiction on government publications, etc. It must not be confused with the bird emblem of any other nation. It should be associated with Indian myths and legends. The peacock fit the bill.

The Peacock, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), is the national bird of India. Emblematic of qualities such as beauty, grace, pride and mysticism, it is a multihued, swan-sized bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long, slender neck. Much in contrast to the natural phenomenon, the male specie of the bird is much more strikingly stunning than its female counterpart. The male bird, peacock, flaunts a gleaming blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green train of around 200 elongated feathers. It is capable of extending its tail erect like fan as ostentatious display.

It is symbolic of qualities like beauty, grace, pride and mysticism. Peacocok is a colourful, swan-sized bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long, slender neck.

The male of the species is more colourful than the female, with a glistening blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green train of around 200 elongated feathers it is able to expand its tail erect like fan as ostentatious display. The female is brownish, slightly smaller than the male, and lacks the train. These birds do not sound as beautiful as they look they have a harsh call. The elaborate courtship dance of the male, fanning out the tail and preening its feathers is a beautiful sight. The peacock is widely found in the Indian sub-continent from the south and east of the Indus river, Jammu and Kashmir, east Assam, south Mizoram and the whole of the Indian peninsula. Found wild in India (and also domesticated in villages) they live in jungle lands near water. They were once bred for food but now hunting of peacocks is banned in India. It is fully protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

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