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Peacock Tail Bloom at the Riga Zoo

Already since the early days of Riga Zoo in 1912 Indian peafowls (Pavo cristatus) have been one of its most colourful attractions. The birds enjoy free living here -  they can be seen walking along the shady alleys of the Zoo or sitting at the top of pine trees, just as they would do in tropical forests in their native India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan or Sri Lanka. Despite their southern origin, peafowls easily adapt to our moderate climate, being able to stay outside when the temperature gets as low as -15°. Spring brings animation to the bird colony as this is their mating season.  Peacocks diligently spread out and shake their fans trying to impress as many peahens as possible – peacocks live in harems, gathering some 3-5 “ladies” in a family. Male’s long display feathers are called a train, actually these are their tail coverts, that can reach 120-160 cm long. By the end of the mating season their plume gradually falls off and will re-grow again by next spring. It took a lot of time and mincemeat (their favourite delicacy) before the peafowls got used to us. And their high-pitch cries still echoed in our ears long after we have returned home… :)

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Riga ZOO Address: Meža prospekts 1 Phone: 67 518 409 Getting to the Zoo by public transport – take tram No. 11 from the centre, or bus No. 48 if you are coming from Sarkandaugava or Plavnieki. Opening times in summer Ticket office: 10.00-18.00 Tropical House: 11.00-18.45 Outdoor and Indoor exhibits: 10.00-19.00 The Zoo closes at 19.00 Tickets  
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