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Congo Peafowl Fact File

Appearance

Males have deep blue plumage across most of their body with some areas having a green or violet tinge. Across the head is a mohawk like crown of white elongated feathers which resemble hair. On the neck is a small red patch. The black tail has fourteen long flight feathers and is short and rounded.

Unlike other pheasants which have a long tail that of the Congo peafowl is short.

Females can be distinguished from males as they are chestnut brown across much of their body with a black abdomen. The back has a metallic green tinge. On top of the head they have a crest of short brown feathers.

The feet are grey.

This species is smaller than other Pavo species reaching between 64 and 70cm (25-28in) long.

Males tend to be larger than females. They weigh in at 1.5kg (3.3lbs) compared to 1.2kg (2.6lbs) for the females.

Diet

The Congo peafowl is an omnivore. Their diet does not appear to be specialized and they will feed on a range of fruits, insects and other invertebrates.

congo peafowl

Scientific Name

Afropavo congensis

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

Weight

Male

1.5kg (3.3lbs)

Female

1.2kg (2.6lbs)

Length

64-70cm (25-28in)

Lifespan

20 years

Diet

Omnivorous

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Range

Africa is the native home of the Congo peafowl and they are the only true pheasant which is native to Africa.

Their range is restricted to The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Habitat

They make their home in a range of different subtropical and tropical moist lowland forests which tend to have a high canopy and litter cover. Their range is sparse and irregular which is thought to be a result of their habitat preferences.

congo peafowl

Reproduction

The breeding season tends to be dependent on local rainfall conditions.

Like their Asian relatives the male will fan out the tail feathers to attract a female. They also fan out the wing feathers and strut about. They will offer food to their potential mate. Pairs are monogamous once they do form.

Females create a scape or hollow in the ground where they can deposit between one and four eggs which are colored brown.

These eggs will be incubated for 28 days. The female completes most of the incubation with the male helping to guard the nest. Females only leave rarely during the incubation to feed.

Both parents will help to rear the chicks brooding, protecting and feeding them. It will take 1 month for the chicks to fledge.

As many as 3 clutches can be produced in one year.

Both males and females reach sexual maturity between one and two years old.

Behavior

These animals are active by day.

congo peafowl

Predators and Threats

Congo peafowl face a range of threats from humans in their environment. These include forest clearance and hunting. Clearance is occurring due to mining, agriculture and logging. Currently their largest threat is human disturbance as cattle farming expands.

Hunting includes capture in snares along with the collection of their eggs.

Currently the population of the Congo peafowl is thought to be less than 10,00 individuals.

Quick facts

Congo peafowl are listed as the national bird of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They are the only member of their genus Afropavo.

The Congo Peafowl was only described for the first time in 1936 based on two stuffed specimens from a museum in Belgium.

congo peafowl

Photo Credits

Top

By Stavenn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1282156

Middle One and Two

By Ltshears – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10846203

Bottom

By Arjan Haverkamp – originally posted to Flickr as 2008-09-07-12h47m25.IMG_1058l, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9178108

References

Taylor, B. and Orr, R., 2021. The bird atlas. Great Britain: Dorling Kindersley.

BirdLife International. 2016. Afropavo congensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22679430A92814166. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22679430A92814166.en. Downloaded on 07 February 2021.

Oiseaux.net. 2021. Paon du Congo – Afropavo congensis – Congo Peafowl. [online] Available at: <https://www.oiseaux.net/birds/congo.peafowl.html> [Accessed 7 February 2021].

ZOO Science. 2021. Congo peafowl. [online] Available at: <https://www.zooscience.be/en/breeding-programmes/congo-peafowl/> [Accessed 7 February 2021].

Beautyofbirds.com. 2021. Congo Peafowl | Beauty of Birds. [online] Available at: <https://www.beautyofbirds.com/congopeafowlpheasants.html> [Accessed 7 February 2021].

Rafferty, J., 2021. peacock | Facts & Habitat. [online] Encyclopedia Britannica. Available at: <https://www.britannica.com/animal/peacock#ref118291> [Accessed 7 February 2021].

Domesticforest.com. 2021. Congo Peafowl. [online] Available at: <https://www.domesticforest.com/congo-peafowl/> [Accessed 7 February 2021].

Aviansag.org. 2021. Species Fact Sheets. [online] Available at: <http://aviansag.org/Fact_Sheets/Galliformes/Congo_Peafowl.pdf> [Accessed 7 February 2021].

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