Peacocks are one of the most recognized birds on the planet and with good reason.
With their iridescent feathers, fan-shaped tail and tall display of feathers on each wing, they look magnificent.
In the last few decades people have been able to keep peacocks as exotic pets and so they are now found in many countries around the world.
The most stunning peacocks have to be the white peacock, but some people wonder if this is actually an albino peacock.
Are There White Peacocks?
There are white peacocks that are white due to a condition called Leucism. Leucism is a variety of conditions that cause the partial loss of pigmentation in an animal.
Leucism can affect the skin, hair, feathers, or scales of the animal and can cause white, pale, or patchy coloration but does not affect the eyes.
White peacocks are a rare form of the blue peacock which has the genetic mutation causing Leucism. White peacocks are born yellow and turn white as they mature. Pied peacocks have partial leucism and so have patches of color loss.
Are There Albino Peacocks?
Yes, there are albino peacocks but these are very rare, much rarer than white peacocks. In fact, you are usually seeing a white peacock rather than an albino peacock as although the feathers are white, the eyes are not red and so the animal has leucism rather than being a true albino.
Albino peacocks would have a complete lack of melanin which would also result in red eyes. Melanin is a group of natural pigments that are produced by most organisms and is responsible for determining skin, hair, or feather colors.
Peacocks can be found in a wide variety of colors including white, purple, opal, cameo, peach, bronze, charcoal, jade, taupe, and midnight. Occasionally peacocks can appear white.
According to Wikipedia, there are several hundred variations in color and pattern recognized as separate morphs of the Indian Blue Peafowl among breeders. Pattern variations include solid wing color, pied which is where the color is not complete across the bird (as in the picture above), and white-eyed where the ‘eye’ feathers are white instead of black.
The bright iridescent colors of the Peacocks’ feathers are not due to pigments but are actually due to structural changes that scatter light and produce amazing colors. According to a scientific study, peacocks will orient themselves towards the sun for the ‘train-rattling’ display to enhance the appearance of the feathers.
How rare are white peacocks
Although rare, white peacocks can be bred from other white peacocks and will produce white peachicks if bred in captivity. So white peacocks can easily be bred to produce white offspring.
They would not be common in the wild naturally as the genetic mutation is very rare so white peacocks would breed with the natural blue colored peacocks which would not usually produce white offspring.
How Much are White Peacocks?
White peacocks can cost from a few hundred dollars to $1500 for a pair in the US.
Check out https://unitedpeafowlassociation.org/ if you wish to find breeders in the US.
Where are White Peacocks Found?
White peacocks are usually bred for their white coloring and therefore can be found all over the world. A white peacock is a form of blue peacock originally from India.
There are three species of peacocks (peafowl) which all have different dominant coloring:
- Indian Peafowl is bluer in coloring.
- Green Peafowl from Southeast Asia, which is more green in coloring
- Congo peafowl which is more black and brown for the male and green and brown females
The natural habitat of peacocks is woodland and forest but they adapt well to different environments and captivity. They are found in India and Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, also the Congo Basin.
Peafowl is the correct name for both the male and female peacocks but they often both get referred to as peacocks. Female peafowl are called Peahens.
Peahens do not have elaborate tail feathers and are not as colorful as the male peacock.
What Does a White Peacock Symbolize?
Peacocks hold a lot of different symbolism for different religions. Peacocks in general hold a lot of symbolism rather than the white peacock itself.
The peacock is the national bird of India and represents the succession of temporal cycles in Hindu cosmology. In Hinduism, the peacock was created from one of the feathers of the mythical bird Garuda, which was a huge majestic bird with carried lord Vishu on its back. Peacocks feature heavily in the Hindu religious beliefs.
In Persia and Babylonia, the peacock is seen as a guardian to royalty.
The Yazidi consider Melek Taus the “peacock angel” and is a central figure of their faith as a benevolent angel and an emulation of God.
In ancient Greece, the peacock was a symbol of immortality as they believed the flesh of the peafowl does not decay after death.
In Christianity, the eyes in the peacock feathers symbolize the all-seeing Christian God.
Ashkenazi Jews use the golden peacock as a symbol of joy and creativity.
Are White Peacocks Lucky?
All peacocks are considered lucky in some countries. In India, the peacock feathers are believed to bring prosperity in Hinduism.
In China, the peacock is considered a good omen that was able to ward off evil spirits.