Which color peacocks have you seen so far? blue, green, purple, red, pink, white? Well, you may have come across many people claiming they have seen peacocks in various colors. But, some of those claims are not true. To be honest, I have seen only blue peacocks, yet. But, since I got interested in finding whether purple peacocks are real or not, I did some research. Here’s what I found.
So, the first question is, “Are purple peacocks real?”
Yes. Purple peacocks are one of the color mutations of Indian peafowl. But, they are extremely rare since the chance of occurring genetic mutations is one to a million. So, you will not see purple peacocks in the wild, but they are only bred in captivity.
What are purple peacocks called? Are there different variants of purple peacocks?
In general, the color of a peacock is decided by the neck color. So, Indian peacocks are blue since their neck is blue, even though they have several other colors in the plumage. Likewise, purple peacocks have purple necks, but they can have several different colors in their plumage.
And, color is only one factor that separates one variety of peacocks from another. In addition to that, body pattern is also another differentiating parameter. There are five boy patterns in peacocks. They are barred wing (wild peacock type), pied, white-eyed, silver pied, and black shoulder.
According to United Peafowl Organization (UPO), there are 225 varieties of peafowls (in the latest published list that includes the approved list of peafowls).
Note: If you are not familiar with the terminology, peafowl is the common name used for both male and female birds. Peacock is the male, and peahen is the female. Baby peafowls are called peachicks.
20 purple peacock varieties
So, based on that publication, all the possible purple peacock varieties are listed in the following table. In the table, the “Spalding” term is used for hybrid varieties and Spalding was used due to Mrs. Keith Spalding, who developed hybrids for the first time by mating together the Indian peafowl and green peafowl.
|Purple Peafowl variety||Purebred/ Hybrid||Body pattern and other features|
|Purple||Purebred – same species parents||Regular (barred wing)|
|Spalding Purple||Hybrid – mix of two species (Indian peafowl and Green peafowl)||Regular (barred wing)|
|Purple Pied||Purebred||Have irregular splotches of white on the body|
|Spalding Purple Pied||Hybrid||Same as purple pied|
|Purple White-Eyed||Purebred||Eye spots (ocelli) on feathers have white spots instead of multi-color dark|
|Spalding Purple White-Eyed||Hybrid||Same as purple white-eyed|
|Purple Pied White-Eyed||Purebred||Have irregular splotches of white on the body and eye spots (ocelli) on feathers have white spots instead of multi-color dark|
|Spalding Purple Pied White-Eyed||Hybrid||Same as purple pied white-eyed|
|Purple Silver Pied||Purebred||The pattern is the opposite of pied variety. About 90% of the body plumage is white with irregular splotches of color.|
|Spalding Purple Silver Pied||Hybrid||Same as silver pied.|
|Purple Black Shoulder||Purebred||Here, the barred wing pattern (in regular peacock) has turned to solid color.|
|Spalding Purple Black Shoulder||Hybrid||Same as the purple black shoulder.|
|Purple Black Shoulder Pied||Purebred||Along with black shoulder, they have irregular splotches of white on the body|
|Spalding Purple Black Shoulder Pied||Hybrid||Same as purple black shoulder pied|
|Purple Black Shoulder White-Eyed||Purebred||They have black shoulder with white eye spots (ocelli) on feathers|
|Spalding Purple Black Shoulder White-Eyed||Hybrid||Same as purple black shoulder white-eyed|
|Purple Black Shoulder Pied White-Eyed||Purebred||Body pattern is a combination of black shoulder, pied and white-eyed patterns|
|Spalding Purple Black Shoulder Pied White-Eyed||Hybrid||Same as purple black shoulder pied white-eyed|
|Purple Black Shoulder Silver Pied||Purebred||The body pattern is a combination of black shoulder with silver pied patterns|
|Spalding Purple Black Shoulder Silver Pied||Hybrid||Same as purple black shoulder silver pied|
Different color peacocks (all possible peacock colors)
There are three species of peafowls, Indian peafowl, green peafowl, and Congo peafowl. However, including all color mutations, there are 15 color varieties of peafowls.
Following are all 15 colors of peafowls:
- Indian peafowl and Congo peafowl – Blue
- Green peafowl – Green
- Genetic mutations of Indian peafowl – Purple, white, charcoal, peach, cameo, buford bronze, jade, opal, midnight, hazel, sonja’s violeta, taupe, indigo
White Peacocks (Albino Peacocks)
White is a special color included in the above-listed 15. In general, blue and green color peacocks are naturally occurring peacocks and you can see them in their natural habitats. But all others mostly result due to farm breeding.
However, even though it is extremely rare, white peacocks can also occur naturally. Their entire plumage is white and due to that, there is no other white variety with different body patterns. And, white peacocks are also called albino.
But, albinism is referred to the reduction of melanin production only. It can result either white or pale yellow color feathers. Hence, the most accurate condition of white peacocks is called Leucism.
And, sometimes albino animals get red eyes and white skin too. But it is not present in all occurrences. And, also these conditions can be passed on to the next generation if two albino peafowls mate.
Where can we see purple peacocks?
Out of all three species, Indian peafowl is the most common one. If you want to see them, plan a tour to India or Sri Lanka. You can see many with less effort.
But, green peafowls are comparatively less common with a small population scattered in Southeast Asian countries. Similarly, Congo peafowls are also less in number and concentrated mainly in the Congo basin. Both these species are rare when compared to Indian peafowl.
And, when it comes to all other color peacocks (genetic mutations) listed above, they are extremely rare. Some of the varieties are still not found or developed, though they are listed based on the possibility of occurring. The probability of occurring a genetic mutation is very less.
So, you will not get any chance to see any of the color mutations in the wild or even in zoos. Mostly, those different color peacocks are developed in breeding farms and you will have a greater chance to see them there.
Peacocks are fascinating colorful birds. And, there are different color varieties of them. Some claim they saw peacocks with colors like red, pink etc. But those are not real. Due to that, people are skeptical when it is mentioned there’s purple color peacocks. So, this article aimed to clarify all doubts on that regard.
Firstly, purple peacocks exist. They are a genetic mutation of the Indian peacocks. But, the occurrence of a purple peacock is extremely rare.
Since the body pattern of the peacock is one of the parameters used when identifying peacock varieties, it is highlighted that there are 20 possible purple peacock varieties (out of 225 all peacock varieties).
In addition to purple, there are 14 other colors of peacocks. Blue and green are naturally occurring and the other 12 are genetic mutations. Even though it is undoubtedly a fascinating sight to see those different color peacocks, these are the rarest to find. So, if you want to see one of these rare color peacocks, look in breeding farms where you have a high probability to see them.
And, if you wish to see a peacock in their natural habitats, visit Sri Lanka, a beautiful country that is also named one of the best tourist destinations.