The Basics of Peafowl Varieties
There are two primary species of peafowl found in the wild: India Blue and Green. (The third, the Congo peafowl, is not domesticated and therefore has no impact on those birds raised in captivity.) There are three subspecies of Green peafowl: Java Green, Indo-Chinese Green and Burmese Green. Although many refer to all Green peafowl as Java Green even if they are of unknown origin since Java Green is the most widely kept subspecies, there are slight physical differences between the subspecies.
Crossing Blue and Green peafowl results in a hybrid bird called a Spalding, named after the woman who first bred them. Unlike most hybrids, Spaldings are fertile and can reproduce.
Over many years of captivity color and pattern mutations have arisen from selective breeding that are presumably not found in the wild. There are currently 10 known color mutations (blue, white, cameo, purple, peach, opal, charcoal, midnight, jade, buford bronze) and 5 pattern mutations (barred wing, blackshoulder, pied, silver pied, white eye).
In 2005, the United Peafowl Association approved a list of 185 possible peafowl varieties. This list was derived from all possible colors and pattern combinations. Although a peacock can only phenotypically display one color, they can have multiple patterns. For example, a cameo can be blackshoulder and pied. Not all patterns can be combined, however. A peacock much be either barred wing or blackshoulder (barred wing is the wild, dominant pattern) and cannot be both pied and silver pied (nor can one be white and pied or white and silver pied). Spalding birds are capable of obtaining all the color and pattern combinations as blues.
The complete list of UPA approved varieties can be found here.
This page last modified on Wednesday, June 28th, 2006