Peacocks are glamorous large birds that are popular for their beautiful plumage, striking calls, and fascinating courtship dances. They are diurnal (active during the day) and sleep at night. But, where do peacocks sleep? How do they sleep?
In this article, I will discuss everything related to the sleeping of peacocks including the locations they sleep, their unique sleeping habits, and how peachicks (baby peacocks) sleep.
So, let’s start with the common question that most have; where do peacocks sleep?
Where do peacocks sleep at night?
Peacocks typically sleep on trees. And, sometimes they may also roost on man-made structures, such as buildings or sheds, as shelters.
Peacocks are more vulnerable to attacks when sleeping. Hence, when choosing a roosting spot, similar to any other animal, peacocks look for places that are safe from predators.
Even though they are large birds, they constantly get threats from ground predators such as tigers, leopards, jackals, mongooses, (Raccoons, if peacocks are caged as pet birds), and other animals that hunt on the ground at night.
So, the best place to sleep for them would be any support that is far raised from the ground which the predators would not be able to reach easily.
In their natural habitats, their obvious choice is tall well-branched trees. And, they wouldn’t derivate from this inherent behavior even in captivity.
Hence, providing roosting bars, some elevated structures, or having trees that are safe to sleep in the allocated space is essential for peacocks to have a comfortable sleep in captivity.
In addition to seeking safety from predators, peacocks may prefer some protection from rain and wind during sleep. So, that is another factor considered when choosing a roosting place at night.
How do peacocks sleep at night? – Sleeping habits of them
Like many other birds, peacocks also sleep at night sitting upright. When bending their legs to settle, tendons in their legs work as a lever mechanism so that their claws are tucked well or locked into the tree branch or roosting bar that they perch on.
That ensures they do not fall off while sleeping. Here’s the full description of how birds are able to sleep on branches without falling.
When roosting, there are two postures peacocks most often use.
- Head-tuck posture – They tuck their head underneath their wings
- Leg-tuck posture – They hide their legs and feet under their bodies
And, a mix of these postures is also observable among them.
The primary purpose of having these different postures when resting by peacocks is to regulate their temperature in cold environments.
Heat loss from peacocks’ bodies is not uniform across different body parts. They lose more heat from their heads than any other part of their bodies. And, since legs and feet are not insulated with feathers, peacocks lose heat from those as well.
That’s why you can most commonly see them resting in one of these postures.
Out of the two postures, the leg-tuck posture is their most preferred one since it allows them to be alert to approaching predators. When there’s a threat they can act quickly as well.
But, in extremely cold conditions, peacocks mostly tend to tuck their heads under their wings when resting or sleeping to maintain their body temperature. Since both their eyes and ears are covered by wings, they lose their visual and auditory signals and are susceptible to threats.
Hence, on those occasions, it is essential for them to find a comparatively much safer place to sleep.
When do peacocks sleep? And how long do they sleep?
Peafowls are diurnal birds and at night they take rest and sleep. So, in general, they sleep from dusk to dawn.
Their total resting time would be more than ten hours per day. But, they are not sleeping that whole time continuously. Being alert to predators and possible threats is also very important for them at night to avoid any danger.
Hence, they tend to get intermittent sleep. And their sleeping time would further reduce if they see intense light, or see/hear a predator or an intruder enter their territory.
Usually, they try to focus their attention more on the place or the direction they got the signal of the intruder and this really disturbs their sleep.
Do peacocks scream at night? Why?
While sleeping at night, peacocks do not scream. But, I heard many have complained that peacocks make noise in the night and they scream while sleeping.
Well, peacocks’ mating calls or alarm calls are quite noisy and very loud. They can be heard even as far as 5 miles away. So, it is justifiable if someone complains about hearing them in the middle of the night.
It is true that sometimes peacocks may yell in the middle of the night. But, they do not do it while sleeping. Then, why do peacocks scream at night?
They scream when they sense a predator or something disturbing happening in their surroundings. They have very sensitive ears that they can hear sounds that humans can’t hear. Hence, they are very much capable of doing watch dogs’ duty (sometimes much better than dogs when alerting intruders).
It has been found that the crown feathers are also sensitive to ultrasound. That’s another indicator to show that peacocks are super sensitive to the environment.
So, the next time you hear a peacock call in the night, it is better to check your surroundings for any unusual things.
Where do peacocks sleep in winter?
Peafowls are native to India and a few other Asian countries that have warmer climates without seasonal changes. Hence, obviously, they love warmer climates and less preferred cold.
And, different breeds of peafowls handle cold differently. Comparatively, Indian peafowl varieties have a higher tolerance for cold than Green peafowls. But, they too can not handle extreme cold conditions on their own.
So, you can not see wild peacocks in the coldest countries such as Canada and America. You will only see them in farms and zoos in those countries. Then, how do they survive on cold nights there?
In captivity, peacocks are provided with suitable conditions to stay comfortable. They can sleep in sheds or barns on colder nights. On some occasions, for roosting, heated roosting bars are provided so that they can avoid their feet getting frosted over.
Additionally, by using heaters and heat lamps etc. sleeping spots of peacocks are heated up to make them more comfortable to sleep at night. And also it is very important to restrict cold breezes from leaking into the shed or barn where peacocks sleep.
So, if you are planning to have peacocks in captivity, provide them with the best warm conditions in winter. Otherwise, they will not sleep well and will get sick due to intolerable colds.
Where do baby peacocks sleep?
Baby peacocks (also called peachicks) sleep under the wings of their mother (female peafowls are also called “Peahen”).
Peachicks do not have sufficient insulation from their little feather covers in the early weeks after hatching. So, they need their mother’s cover to protect them from the cold at night.
Peahens are more protective of their babies in the wild than in captivity since babies are more vulnerable in their natural habitats. There are constant threats from predators and they get exposed to harsh climate conditions.
Hence, peafowl mothers have to provide good and extended protection and care for their babies for them to survive in the wild.
But, in captivity, parental care for babies is comparatively less. Peachicks have minimum threats from predators in captivity since they are protected in sheds or barns in well-protected peacock pens.
Additionally, they get artificially created warm environments to stay comfortable even in winter. But, baby peafowls still sleep under peahens’ wings in their early weeks.
It is interesting to see that when peachicks hide under their mother’s wings, they are not visible to the outside. Wings cover them completely.
In captivity, when several peachicks are there, sometimes they tend to compete, fight and squawk to find the best position to settle under to spend the night. And, peachicks may sleep under the wings of other peahens (other than their own mother).
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