Can peacocks fly with their tails?

Peacocks can fly, despite their long trains (tail feathers) which make up 60% of their body. The average peacock spends only 2% of its time in flight. Flight serves primarily as a defence mechanism; peacocks launch themselves vertically into the air to escape into the canopies of trees to evade predators and to nest safely during the evenings. If a predator grabs the train, the long feathers pull out easily, so that the peacock can fly away. This national bird of India is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

When you look at the long tail flowing behind a flying peacock, you might be perplexed as to how they manage to lift themselves off the ground. Technically, their actual tail has only about 20 feathers. However the “train” that is made up of the elongated feathers that drape over the tail can have more than 200 feathers and is about 5-6 feet long!

Surely this mass of 200 extra long feathers trailing behind them must hinder their flight ability. However, scientists believe it actually has no significant effects. In a study carried out by Dr. Askew of the University of Leads, peacock tails were clipped to confirm its effect on their flight.

Surprisingly, peacocks with clipped tails still struggled to take off from the ground, and their flight was similar to when they had full tails. This has lead researchers to believe that the gigantic plumage has little effect on a peacocks ability to fly.

Picture Credit : Google

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