15 birds that look like peacocks


When folks think about birds struttin’ around with an eye-catching array of feathers, peafowls often come to mind first. With their vivid colors and majestic tail feathers, they’re like the kings and queens of the bird world. But let me tell ya, there’s more to these beauts than just what meets the eye. These creatures are fascinating, not just for their looks but for their behaviors and the places they call home.

Peafowls are native to Asia and Africa, but you’ll find them flaunting their stuff all over the globe thanks to humans introducing them to new places. While the males, known as peacocks, show off their impressive plumage to woo the ladies, the females, called peahens, keep things low-key with their more subdued colors. But don’t let their stunning looks distract ya; these birds are also known for their loud calls that can be heard far and wide.

Resplendent Quetzal

Get ready to meet a bird that could make even the most dazzling peacock jealous. I’m talking about the Resplendent Quetzal, a bird that’s all decked out in bright green and red, making it look like it’s ready for a party all year round. Native to Mexico and Western Panama, this bird knows how to turn heads with its green upperparts and maroon-red underbelly. It’s like nature took a paintbrush and just went wild!

But here’s the kicker: amidst all that color, the Resplendent Quetzal’s bright green helps it blend right into its natural habitat of vegetated ravines. Who would’ve thought, right? They enjoy their own company except during the breeding season when it’s time to find a mate. After raising their young, they’re like, “See ya next year!” and go their separate ways.

Yellow-Bellied Greenbul

Alright, so maybe the Yellow-Bellied Greenbul doesn’t strut around with a train of feathers behind it, but it’s got a charm that could make you think twice. This little critter rocks a bright yellow belly that pops against its olive-green back. Picture that little bird with a slick black throat and a white eye stripe, looking like it’s ready for a night out on the town.

But don’t let its size fool ya; this bird is all about that insect life, munching on wasps, beetles, and ants. It’s pretty much the neighborhood pest control. They’re the lone wolves of the bird world, only hanging out with their mate during the spring. Once fall hits, it’s back to solo living for these guys.

Red-Billed Streamer Tail

Next up in our list of birds that could pass for peacock siblings if you squint enough, we’ve got the Red-Billed Streamer Tail. Now, hear me out, it’s not boasting an enormous fan of feathers, but it’s got style with its tiny size and, you guessed it, a red bill that looks like it’s always wearing lipstick. Native to Africa, these birds have a real knack for finding the coolest water spots to hang out.

Living in groups of two or three, these birds love a good water source where they can have their fill of aquatic insects and plants. So, while they might not have the peacock’s flair for drama in their feathers, they’ve got a community vibe going that’s pretty endearing.

Congo Peafowl

Let me introduce you to a bird that’s like the peacock’s long-lost cousin, the Congo Peafowl. Native to Africa, this bird rocks a getup of blue, green, and black feathers that could give any peacock a run for its money. And don’t forget about the bright pink neck – it’s like the bird world’s fashion statement.

These birds might share the same fancy feather look as peacocks, but they keep it pretty low-key. Unlike the show-off peacocks, Congo Peafowls are all about blending in with their colorful plumage in the wild. They’re a rare sight, but boy, are they a spectacle with those eye spots twinkling.

White Peafowl

Ever seen a bird that looks like it’s dressed for a wedding every day? Enter the White Peafowl. These birds take the cake for elegance with their snowy-white feathers that shimmer in the sun. They’re like the peafowls’ answer to a winter wonderland, standing out with a splendor all their own.

But don’t think these white beauties are all natural. They’re the result of selective breeding, showing that humans can’t help but tweak nature’s designs for a bit of extra flair. With a train of feathers that could rival any bridal gown, these birds are the epitome of avian elegance.

Turquoise-Browed Motmot

If there was a bird beauty contest, the Turquoise-Browed Motmot would be in the running. You might mistake it for a peacock junior with its neon-blue wings and green upperparts. But don’t let that fool you; this bird’s got a style that’s nothing short of fabulous. Native to Central America, it rocks a medium-sized gray-blue body that’s just as eye-catching.

What sets them apart is not just their distinctive plumage, but also the way males and females alike sport it. No gender monopoly on beauty here! Plus, these birds love company, preferring to live in large flocks. They’ve got the social life and the looks – talk about bird goals.

Spalding Peafowl

Let me introduce you to the Spalding Peafowl, a fancy fellow named after Henry Spalding. He was the one who got the credit for spotting them first back in 1857. Now, these birds, they’ve got a bit more heft compared to other peafowl buddies of theirs, making them sort of the big guys on campus. And you know what? They’re kind of the celebrities of peafowl, often chilling in zoos and aviaries rather than doing the wildlife.

Why so popular, you might ask? Well, besides their hefty size, people just love having them as pets. Their gorgeous green plumage makes them stand out, not to mention they’re a bit different from the regular pavo cristatus you might see strutting around. So, if you’re into birds that make a statement, the Spalding Peafowl is your go-to guy.

Common Kingfisher

Ever catch a glimpse of something small and dazzling by the water and wonder if it was a misplaced piece of the sky? Chances are, you’ve seen a Common Kingfisher. No bigger than a sparrow, these little critters sport a tapestry of colors that could rival any peacock’s breast feathers. They’re natural-born fishermen, hunting down their watery snacks with precision. It’s their hobby; well, more like their life.

But spotting one can be as tricky as finding a needle in a haystack. Thanks to their specific needs for a waterside home, they give mixed woodlands or coniferous forests a five-star rating. Catching a flash of their vibrant colors is a true treat, proving that sometimes the most impressive things come in the smallest packages.

Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia

Okay, picture this: a bird so fancy, with tail feathers that could give a royal wedding train a run for its money. That’s your Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia. Only, instead of sequins and lace, we’re talking about two stunning white feathers tipped with a touch of gray. And don’t get me started on their color scheme – that vibrant mix of dark browns, a flash of emerald green, and a head that’s bright orange. Yup, from the right angle, you might mistake them for a species of peafowl.

What’s on the menu for this elegant creature? Bugs, and plenty of them. These birds are living proof that being insectivorous doesn’t mean compromising on style. Native to the lush lands of South America, they’ve got an all-you-can-eat buffet of insects year-round. So yeah, they’ve got the looks and the lifestyle.

Blue Peafowl

Here’s a fact for you: The national bird of India isn’t just any bird—it’s the Blue Peafowl. Talk about a bird that turns heads! With a coat that’s a vibrant shade of blue, these birds are living, breathing pieces of art. Except for a few brown markings on their neck and head, they’re splashed with blue all over. Plus, they’ve got that iconic peacock tail that fans out in a display that’ll knock your socks off.

As for their lifestyle, it’s all about fine dining on the ground, scrounging up whatever the earth serves up. These birds might be common compared to their white cousins, but spotting them in the wild is like finding a treasure chest. It’s their dazzling feathers and regal presence that reminds us why they’re the stars of the show.

Red Peafowl

Red Peafowl—now there’s a species that keeps you on your toes. Found nearly everywhere, they’re a bit of a common sight, but don’t let that fool you. Each bird throws a curveball with different markings, ranging from maroon-red feathers to some that are almost touching the black spectrum. But let’s be real; it’s their impressive tail that steals the show, no matter the color. And just like your favorite cereal, they love munching on seeds, insects, fruits, and berries.

These birds might be a tad bit duller in coloration compared to their more vibrant cousins, and that’s okay. What they lack in brightness, they make up for with their chestnut brown charm, proving that sometimes, being a little understated is not a bad thing at all. It’s all about that extra flair, that touch of uniqueness that grabs your attention.

Golden Pheasant

When it comes to birds that look like they’ve just stepped out of a fairy tale, the Golden Pheasant takes the cake. Hailing from the mountainous forests of China, they’re some of the most eye-catching birds in the world. A golden crest? Check. A bright red breast tearing through that gold? Double check. But don’t think it’s all for show; those black streaks across their capes are like neon signs saying, “Hey, look at me!” during mating season.

Post-mating season, they’re loners, combing the ground for insects, seeds, and berries. Despite being gifted with wings, they’re the jogging enthusiasts of the aviary world, preferring a good run-over flight. It’s a blend of being grounded yet ready to show off when the time comes, making the Golden Pheasant a remarkable blend of beauty and humility, not to mention a perfect example of sexual dimorphism and chrysolophus pictus in action.

Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo

Talk about a bird with a flair for the dramatic! Meet the Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo, a resident of Southeast Asia known for its stunning iridescent plumage. Sure, it might not be the first bird that pops into your head when you think “peacock,” but wait till you see its tail. Long, straight, and decked out with a black and white plumage that says, “I’m not your average bird.” It’s like nature’s version of a punk rock hairstyle.

But it doesn’t just look the part; it lives it, too. Omnivorous to the core, this bird doesn’t shy away from a mixed diet of fruits, insects, and even the occasional seed or plant material. If it fits the beak, it’s on the menu. This makes the Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo not just a beauty but a versatile survivor in the lush landscapes of Southeast Asia.


Alright, let’s talk about the widowbirds. These fancy flyers belong to the Weaver family, kinda like distant cousins who only show up at the big family reunions. The real show-stoppers here are the males of the species. Imagine wearing a tailcoat to a party that’s twice as long as you are tall—that’s their everyday outfit. They’ve got these long, elegant tail feathers that make them stand out in the bird world. These tails aren’t just for show; they’re like neon signs saying, “Hey, look at me!” to the ladies.

Now, the females of the species? They’re more on the understated side, sporting mainly black plumage with some colorful markings to spice things up a bit. They say opposites attract, and in the case of widowbirds, that seems to do the trick. Their high-flying fashion sense certainly makes them contenders in the bird world’s best-dressed list, where being flashy isn’t just allowed—it’s encouraged.

Birds of Paradise

Switching gears to the birds of paradise, these fellas are like the VIPs of the bird world, living it up in the tropical forests of Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. They’re medium-sized birds with the swagger of a rockstar, thanks to their males’ fancy feathers and unique breeding plumage. We’re talking about feather trains that could rival any peacock’s and moves that make their courtship displays the ultimate dance-offs. And let’s not forget stars like Wilson’s bird of paradise or the greater bird of paradise. These guys have a fashion sense that could make Cicinnurus respublica and Paradisaea apoda household names—if you’re into bird watching, that is.

Despite all their glam and glitter, don’t be fooled into thinking they’re related to peafowls. Nope, they’re in a league of their own. They’ve mastered the art of the show-off without needing to share a family tree with the peacocks. If there were an award for ‘Best Dressed’ in the bird world, these guys would be sweeping the category every time, with their courtship rituals stealing the show.


So what have we learned about the avian fashionistas of the natural world? First off, while no bird can quite match the peacock’s blend of arrogant charm and sheer elegance, there’s no shortage of contenders. Whether it’s the long-tailed grace of the widowbirds or the exotic flair of the birds of paradise, nature’s got its version of a runway show going on, and the invites are open to all.

Spotting any of these species is less about having a ticket to an exclusive event and more about appreciating the diversity out there. Your local zoo might just be the hotspot for catching a glimpse of these feathered celebrities. And if you find yourself mesmerized by their courtship displays or simply the way they carry their plumage like a mantle of royalty, you’re getting a peek into nature’s playbook on attraction and style.

Last but not least, remember that every feathered friend out there, from the commonly spotted to the exotically rare, adds a unique thread to the tapestry of life. If any of these birds have captured your fancy, maybe consider supporting your local aviary or conservation efforts. After all, ensuring that future generations get to witness these courtship displays and flamboyant feathers is something truly marvelous to aspire towards.

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