Nocturnal Antipredator Behavior in Peafowl

(185.1MB, 00:00:48)
Shot Date: 2010/11/10
Shot Location: Durham, NC, USA

* species
Pavo cristatus

Key Words

Jessica Yorzinski
2011/12/02 submitted

Animalia >Chordata >Aves >Galliformes >Phasianidae >Pavo >

At night, peahens exhibited antipredator behavior in response to a taxidermy raccoon. They lifted their tails while remaining stationary and either continued sitting or stood up.

Below is the abstract from the article containing this video:

The difference between night and day: antipredator behavior in birds
Jessica L. Yorzinski, Michael L. Platt, Journal of Ethology, doi:10.1007/s10164-011-0318-5

Animals have evolved sophisticated strategies for avoiding predators during the day. These strategies can vary depending on the type of predator and level of threat. Although nocturnal predation is a major cause of animal mortality, antipredator behavior at night is poorly under- stood. To investigate how diurnal animals adjust their anti- predator behavior during these different conditions, peahens (Pavo cristatus) were exposed to a taxidermy raccoon during the daytime and nighttime. During the day, the peahens emitted loud antipredator calls, extended their necks upward, adopted a preflight posture, and approached the predator; at night, the peahens emitted soft hissing calls, remained sta- tionary, piloerected their feathers, and raised their tails. The results demonstrate that birds adopt radically different anti- predator behavior depending on whether the threat occurs in the daytime or nighttime. These different tactics could result from limitations in sensory abilities. Videos showing noc- turnal and diurnal antipredator behavior of peafowl are available online ( and

(Data No.momo111110pc01a)

Copyrights belong to author.
Read Terms of Service carefully


[Database Home]