Communication and Perception
The calls of Indian blue peafowl are extremely loud and are often described as unpleasant, harsh shrieking. These calls are extremely varied, with up to six alarm calls issued by both sexes and seven additional calls that males emit during territorial disputes. Three of the calls the males produce are only associated with reproduction, and are typically only used during breeding season. These calls are only created by sexually-mature males, and can affect mating success. The calls mostly differ in pitch and the number of notes. These calls could be more important than the actual visual display of the males trains in which even the most elaborate can have varying rates of mating success. Vocal calls with more than five notes are generally more successful and it is believed that these types of calls are sexually selected by the females. Also, when predators, humans, or any other type of disturbance agitates a peafowl, they can issue an alarm call. The type of alarm call emitted depends on the threat. However, no matter how great the level of alarm, peafowls of any age and gender call back to increase awareness among the group. If the call indicates great danger, the peafowls will relocate to a safer position.
The elaborate ornamentation of male plumage is an important visual cue that communicates fitness to potential mates. Indian blue peafowl perceive their environment through visual, auditory, tactile, and chemical stimuli.
Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic
- Takahashi, M., T. Hasegawa. 2008. Seasonal and dinural use of eight different call types by Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus). Journal of Ethology, 26/3: 375-381.