Peacocks: Not picky eaters

Q. What can one feed peacocks?
Peacocks will eat almost anything, though some foods are better for them than others. For instance, keep your trash covered, because peacocks will rummage through it in search of tasty scraps. In the wild, peacocks live on seeds, insects, berries and other nutritious items that can be readily found. In captivity, peacocks are generally fed a more controlled diet, but it consists of items similar to what is found in their natural habitat.

One the favorite foods of peafowl is insects. Peacocks are not picky and will readily consume ants, flying insects, grubs or almost any other bug. Their diet also includes spiders, which are not insects but are often grouped in the same category. Similarly, peacocks will scratch the soil in search of worms and other small creatures that may be easily uncovered.

Amphibians and Reptiles
Lizards and frogs are high in protein and will be gobbled up by most birds, including peacocks. Snails and slugs are a favorite meal as well, and they have led many people to believe that peacocks eat flowers. The truth is that they will tear apart flowers in search of snails and insects, and any flower parts that are ingested are eaten as a matter of course while trying to find the creatures that live along them.

Grain and vegetables
Corn, wheat and other grains are a common food source for peacocks. They will also eat beans and peas, and they may tear tomatoes, bell peppers or fruits apart to get to the seeds inside. Cantaloupe and watermelon, for instance, have large seeds that contain nutrients necessary to a peacock's diet. They will not usually eat the pulp of fruits and vegetables, even though it may appear they are doing so in their search for seeds.

Peacocks not only enjoy eating fresh berries, they also love the insects that congregate around small ripe fruits.

Pet Food
In captivity, peafowl are often fed a supplemental diet of pet food or livestock feed. In the case of livestock feed, they are merely eating concentrated grains, while pet foods such as dry cat food or dog food contain additional minerals and nutrients that may not be readily available through ordinary scavenging. These foods are not recommended as the only diet for peacocks, but they are generally used in conjunction with fresh or dried fruits, vegetables and grains.

Q. Where do ducks lay their eggs? Do they build a nest?
A. Yes, Ducks do make nests. They mostly nest on the ground on dry land that is close to water; nests are generally concealed under overhanging grass or other vegetation. Ducks are often categorised as upland nesters, overwater nesters, or cavity nesters.

Upland nesters – They settle on shallow, seasonal wetlands, croplands and grasslands.
Overwater nesters – They make their nests on floating mats of vegetation like bulrush. Their preferred nesting sites are semi-permanent wetlands with relatively deep water and dense stands of vegetation.
Cavity nesters- Nesting cavities are often made in trees by the excavations of woodpeckers or are created by decay caused by old age or damage from wind or lightning.

Q. There is a madari/ snake charmer in my locality, is that legal?
A. Possession of animals such as snakes, langurs or monkey is prohibited under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Snakes cannot be kept by people for trading or entertainment purposes, as it is an illegal activity. Snake charming has been banned since 1991.

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