Can peahens fly?

Peahens are called the queens of birds because of their colorful and beautiful tail feathers. If you are not a professional farmer or have experienced raising peahens, you might only see them walking on the ground. So, are you curious about their flying ability? Can peahens fly?

Can peahens fly?

Of course, peahens are able to fly. “Peahens” are actually the specific name used to call female peafowl, males are called “Peacocks”.

The main difference that we can distinguish between peahens and peacocks is their feathers’ colour. Peahens have darker and less attractive feathers than peacocks. Their tail feathers also have fewer extra long hairs.

Even though they have some varied appearances and are called with 2 different names, they still belong to the Peafowl species.

Most people just can see peahens walking around and showing their beautiful tail feathers when taking a trip to the zoo. They rarely or even have never seen peahens flying, that is the reason why many people think that they are not able to fly.

In fact, peahens do fly but in some particular situations. Additionally, there are also some factors that contribute to peahens’ rare flying. Let’s read on to figure them out.

Peahens can fly
Peahens can fly (Image Credit By Stephanie LeBlanc)

When do peahens fly?

Generally, most birds are usually prone to be stalked and threatened by predators like hawks, dogs, even wolves, etc. Definitely, peahens are not the exceptions.

Though peahens have fast-moving speed, they still have to fly in the case of entercounting dangerous predators to escape.

In addition, peahens also have the roost habit of chickens. As their tails are huge and long, they are usually bitten by rodents, mice, etc.

Plus, peahens can always be the attack targets, so roosting at high positions is the best way to protect them from being attacked. That is why they choose positions such as: trees, buildings or rocks.

So you can behold peahens wing up to their roosting spot at night and glide down when sunrise.

How far can peahens fly?

Peahens can fly with a limited distance. People say that peahens’ furthest flying distance is about 100 meters but most peahens usually are capable of gliding shorter than this.

However, their muscular legs and rapid running speed are their great advantages which can make good that weakness. (Source)

Why can peahens fly so short?

Actually, peahens are the Phasianidae family’s members. The Phasianidae family consists of ground-dwelling and heavy birds such as turkeys, chickens, partridges, and chickens.

Since peahens are more suitable for living on the ground, their features were also born for adapting ground living. Later peahen generations have developed to enhance these appropriate feathers and maintain their flying ability to a specific distance.

Peahens have large bodies, so when flying they have to use a lot of their wing power to lift their bodies up to the sky. That is why it is quite hard for them to fly far.

How high can peahens fly?

The highest-flying distance of peahens that people have seen is about a few meters. They usually fly at that height to arrive at their roosting positions.

As mentioned above, peahens just fly in some specific situations such as escaping from predators or roosting. Therefore, you will not behold them soar in the sky as other flying birds.

Do their tails affect their flying?

Peahens are famous for their huge and beautiful tail feathers. It is not unusual when a lot of people suppose that their long and large tail feathers are also one of the reasons which make them difficult to fly.

In fact, there are about twenty feathers at peahens’ tails. However, being covered up 200 elongated makes them look huge and heavy.

Scientists have done a couple of experiments to verify this problem. And surprisingly, peahens’ tail feathers totally do not have any significant impact on their flying.

Even when you clipped peahens’ feathers, they still flew the same way before. It is clear proof that peahens’ huge feathers do not influence their flying ability. (Source)

Why do peahens rarely fly?

Firstly, peahens are known as omnivores. Apart from eating plants, fruits, they also love walking around their living space to look for some food such as: insects, bugs, etc.

Since peahens are able to hunt for their food easily on the ground, they do not need to fly too much and are familiar with life on the ground.

Peahens can easily find food on the ground
Peahens can easily find food on the ground (Image Credit By Stephanie LeBlanc)

Another reason is that peahens adapt to living on the ground better. As mentioned above, later generations of peahens have developed to survive on land, so they do not have to fly far away to find better breeding grounds or weather.

Instead, peahens are able to expand body sizes and spend energy growing their massive and long feathers.

Last but not least, peahens run very quickly, about more than 16 kilometers per hour. Therefore, they are still able to flee from predators without flying.


In summary, the obvious answer to the question “Can peahens fly?” is YES. However, since they have evolved to survive and spend most of their time living on the ground, a lot of people mistake that they are flightless birds. It is totally wrong.

Even though peahens do not fly as other birds, they are still able to fly. The information mentioned above can explain and make clear some important things if you would like to learn about peahens’ flying.