Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)


Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus)


French: Paon spicifère German: Ährenträgerpfau Spanish: Pavo real cuelliverde
Other common names: Green Peacock

Pavo muticus


, 1766,

Japan; error = Java


Differences among races often difficult to assess unless specimens are mature males, and reassessment may be needed. Birds in Yunnan included in imperator, but may differ sufficiently to warrant recognition as an additional race#R. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. spicifer (Shaw, 1804) – NE India (SE Assam) and SE Bangladesh E to NW Myanmar (possibly extinct).
  • P. m. imperator Delacour, 1949 – patchily distributed in S China (S Yunnan) and NW Myanmar S to Isthmus of Kra, and E through Thailand to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • P. m. muticus Linnaeus, 1766 – locally in Java; extinct in Peninsular Malaysia, and probably also in Thailand.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 180–250 cm (tail 40–47·5 cm, train 140–160 cm), 3850–5000 g; ­female 100–110 cm (tail 40–45 cm), 1060–1160 g.... read more


    Advertising call of male is a far-carrying, repeated “ki-wao” or “yee-ow”,... read more


    Uusally encountered close to water, including streams and rivers. On Java occurs in open woodland (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little known. Crops found to contain mainly termites, but also berries, grass seeds, peppers, flower petals, crickets, grasshoppers and... read more


    In NE India, spicifer apparently breeds in Jan–May, but Jul–Sept also recorded; Apr–May in Bangladesh; in Java... read more


    Believed to be fairly sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Mace-Lande: muticus endangered; imperator endangered; spicifer insufficient information. CITES II. Populations probably highly... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 April 2020).