A female peacock is a peahen. Only the males (peacocks) have the beautiful colors.

The real name of the animal is “peafowl”. Male peafowl are peacocks, females are peahens, and the babies are peachicks! Peacocks are the most famous, with bright blue heads, flashy plumage, and the long “train” of feathers that can make the shape of a giant fan. Contrary to popular belief, these feathers aren’t really tail feathers; the tail is underneath the train.

Peahens, by contrast, are very drab in appearance and don't have the famous peacock feathers. They take care of the peachicks alone, while the fathers keep looking for more mates.

Peacocks are polygamous; the bright colors are designed to attract more peahens. The prettier the peacock, the more peahens it can mate with. As a result, in modern slang, “peacocking” refers to men dressing in flashy clothes to get women’s attention. For example, Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation tries to do this, with mixed results.

Peacocks also have a really loud call, to attract more mates from long distances.

(Editor’s note: I lived next-door to a man who raised peacocks. The title of this video is correct. This really is the most annoying sound in the world, especially at 5 a.m.)

Click here to learn more about peacocks!