The social organization of feral peafowl.

Author Rands, M.R.W., Ridley, M.W., & Lelliott, A.D.
Citation Rands, M.R.W., Ridley, M.W., & Lelliott, A.D. (1984). The social organization of feral peafowl. Animal Behaviour, 32: 830-835.


Peafowl are usually reported to have a mating system based on harem defence by adult males. In a small feral population near Oxford, males defended small (<1 ha) territories while females remained in one flock that ignored male territory boundaries. After mating, females become solitary. At no time did a female associate selectively with one male or remain within his territory, nor did males attempt to follow or guard female groups. Two out of four males were seen to mate. These differed from the other two in being neither very old nor very young; they held territories smaller than that of the young male and were no larger or longer-tailed. However, they spent more time displaying. We suggest that peafowl have a mating system similar to a lek: males defending small, clumped territories visited by females for mating.

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