The peacock has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful birds in the world and it’s easy to see why. With its exotic coloring and display of long, iridescent feathers, it truly is one of nature’s most remarkable creatures!
But, did you know that the term “Peacock” is really only a nickname for these amazing birds.
They are actually a species known as Peafowl and there are loads of different types of Peafowl. There are also some birds that don’t belong to this family, but look like they do.
That’s what we’ll look at here.
Below, you’ll find 23 birds similar to peacocks that have all of their beauty, but aren’t always related!
Let’s kick things off by looking at the bird that springs immediately to mind when you think of a Peacock. This is the Peafowl.
Its long tail and famously showy feathers dazzle with a mixture of green, blue, and copper tones.
It also has a crest on the top of its head that is dotted with blue feathers, and the rest of its body is covered with royal blue plumage.
As well as their impressive feathers, the Peafowl is famed for its loud call.
The male is the louder of the two sexes, and it uses this call alongside a showy display of ruffling tail feathers held out in a fan position to attract a mate. He’ll also use this call to alert to nearby danger.
Native to Mexico and Western Panama, the Resplendent Quetzal is a small, exotic-looking bird that could easily be mistaken for a Peacock chick.
It has bright green upperparts, maroon-red underparts and breast, and a green head with fuzzy-looking plumage.
It may surprise you to learn that this dazzling display of color all over their body actually acts as camouflage.
Since their natural habitat is vegetated ravines and rain forests that are abundant with color, it actually helps them blend in really well.
The Resplendent Quetzal is a solitary bird, only finding a partner for the breeding season. Once the pair have fledged their young, they go their separate ways.
Red-Billed Streamer Tail
Another small bird that could be mistaken for Peacock chick, the Red-Billed Streamer Tail is native to Africa.
It lives in any area close to a water source, usually in groups of 2 or 3, where it can feed on aquatic insects and plants.
The Red-Billed Streamer Tail can be identified by its long, bright-red bill that gives it its name.
It also has deep green feathers all over its body that are marked with black, and a jet-black face.
Also known as “Congo Pheasants” the Congo Peafowl is native to Africa and is one of the most abundant species of Peafowl in the wild.
Like a lot of birds, the male Congo Peafowl is the more colorful of the two sexes and is covered with a mixture of blue, green, and black feathers. It also has a bright pink neck.
Like most Peacocks, the Congo Peafowl feeds by foraging and will snaffle up a mixture of fruits, seeds, nuts, and anything else it finds on the rainforest floor.
While the Yellow-Bellied Greenbul isn’t the same size or shape as a Peacock, it certainly has some beautiful colorings that might make you think they’re related in some way.
Covered with bright yellow and olive-green feathers, this little bird also sports a black throat and a white eye stripe.
The Yellow-Bellied Greenbul is exclusively insectivorous feeding on wasps, beetles, caterpillars, ants, and any other creepy crawlies that it can find.
Generally solitary, you may spot a nesting couple in the spring but, once fall rolls round, they’ll go their separate ways.
The White Peafowl is one of the rarer species of Peacock and the beautiful, pure-white feathers that cover their entire body are caused by something called leucism.
This is a genetic mutation that prevents color from developing in cells and, as a result, every feather remains perfectly white.
Very few White Peafowl are found in the wild and, over the past few centuries, most of the White Peafowl you can see in zoos and aviaries are actually a crossbreed of the Indie Blue Peacock and he White Pheasant.
This parentage almost guarantees a White Peafowl doppelganger chick every time.
This tiny bird could easily be mistaken for a Peacock chick thanks to the incredible array of colors that cover its body. Native to Central America, the Turquoise-Browed Motmot has neon-blue wings and tail, green upperparts and shoulders, and an orange chest and neck.
It also has a black eye mask, black crown, and their namesake turquoise brow.
Non-migratory, they are actually quite a common sight throughout Central America and can often be seen perched atop wire fences looking for insects or small reptiles to feed on.
You’ll likely see more than just one at a time as well, as the Turquoise-Browed Motmot prefers to live in large flocks.
The Impeyan Pheasant is native to Himalaya’s scrubland and forests, although it is also a common sight throughout European countryside.
Quite a large bird that can reach up to 28-inches long, it has a copper upperparts and neck, a white rump, green crest, red eye patches, and a long tail that almost rivals the Peacock’s.
Like the Peacock, the Impeyan Pheasant finds food by foraging.
They’re a lot less fussy when it comes to their meals though and will happily eat anything they come across including seeds, berries, nuts, fruits, insects, and even carrion.
With the appearance of a very small Peacock, the Marvelous Spatuletail has a long tail with a showy feather on the end of each strand.
It also has bright green upperparts, dark gray wings, pale gray underparts, and a neon-blue neck. The male Marvelous Spatuletail sports a purple crest, too.
These diurnal birds (which means they hunt by night) find their prey by flying close to the ground and snatching up spiders, worms, slugs, and other insects on the wing.
They also live in flocks for safety, sometimes as numerous as 100 strong.
Another species of Peafowl that is more commonly seen in zoos and aviaries than in the wild, the Spalding Peafowl was named after its discoverer, Henry Spalding, who first spotted it in 1857.
Larger than most other Peafowl species, the Spalding Peafowl is often kept as pets or by land owners as a show of wealth and status.
They have royal blue coloring all over their body and that famous showy tail with green, blue, and orange patterned feathers.
Wilson’s Bird of Paradise
This exotic-looking bird is native to West Papua where it lives across a series of Islands.
It’s also easy to see who the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise could be mistaken for a Peacock, with its bright colors and long, showy tail.
This unique tail also forks into curled ends, giving it an even greater Peacock-like look.
While the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise is a solitary bird, unlike many birds it has two mating periods.
These take place between May and June, and then again in October. Their preferred food is fruits and seeds, but they aren’t averse to eating insects as well.
Another bird with some beautiful coloring, the Common Kingfisher is about the same size as a Sparrow.
They have quite a large range that covers Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania but, due to their specific habitat, they can be difficult to spot.
As you may have guessed from their name, the Common Kingfisher feeds on small fish and frogs. This means that they need to live near a source of flowing water, usually a mixed woodland or coniferous forest.
You’ll know if you’ve spotted a Common Kingfisher by their vivid blue upperparts and crown that are flecked with white, orange underparts and eye stripe, and long black and orange bill that almost looks too big for its small head.
While the Blue Peafowl is more common than the White Peafowl, it still remains as one of the rarer species in the wild.
As their name suggests, this magnificent bird is covered with bright blue feathers with the only exception being brown markings on their neck and head. They also have that famously long Peacock tail.
The Blue Peafowl finds its food by foraging, searching out seeds, berries, and soft fruits and pecking them up with their sharp beak.
The Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia is often mistaken for the Peacock due to its very long, elegant tail that consists of two pure white feathers that are tipped with gray.
The rest of its body is mostly dark brown, but it also has a bright orange head and an emerald green back – a flash of which in passing could also make you believe it was a species of Peafowl.
The Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia is exclusively insectivorous and, while this might seem like it would pose an issue in terms of seasonality, its native home of South America means that there are always plenty of insects to feed on.
Most commonly found living in China’s mountainous forests, the Golden Pheasant is one of the easiest-to-recognize birds in the world.
It has a glorious golden crest, matching rump, and bright red breast and underparts. The male also sports black streaks across their cape, and this acts as a way to attract a partner during the breeding season.
Once the breeding season has passed, the Golden Pheasant goes back to living a solitary life of feeding on insects, seeds, and berries.
Interestingly, while the Golden Pheasant is capable of flight, it prefers to spend the majority of its time on the ground and will often run rather than fly.
Found in most continents, the Red Peafowl is one of the more common species.
Confusingly, however, despite their name there are quite a few different varieties of Red Peafowl and each has different markings. Some sport maroon-red feathers, while others are almost completely black.
They do all have one thing in common, though – that impressive Peacock tail. They also feed in the same way as most other species of Peafowl, foraging on the floor for seeds, insects, fruits, and berries.
You might be wondering how this waterbird ended up on our list, but when you see a Great-Crested Grebe’s iridescent wet plumage glistening in the sunlight, a quick glance could make you believe it’s a Peacock.
Native to Eurasia, the Great-Crested Grebe is also known for its Peacock-like, elaborate mating display.
Typically solitary, you may see a few flocking together during winter for protection.
They mainly feed on fish and crustaceans, but won’t turn down any other aquatic life including newts, frogs, and insects.
Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo
Native to Asia, the Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo is covered with blue-black, iridescent feathers and has a long, curved bill.
But where is the Peacock similarity? It’s all in the tail! This fairytale-looking bird has a long, straight tail that is covered with black and white plumage.
Omnivorous feeders, the Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo feeds on both fruit and insects, as well as seeds and plant materials.
The similarity between the Peacock and the Long-Tailed Widowbird again lies with the tail, which is made up of 12 long, black feathers.
The rest of their body is covered with black plumage apart from the shoulders which are orange and white.
Long-Tailed Widowbirds are mostly seed-eaters, but they will feed on insects and invertebrates during the spring and summer in order to increase their energy stores during the breeding season.
Greater Bird of Paradise
Found living in the rainforests of New Guinea, the Greater Bird of Paradise can be identified by its bright blue body, black face, deep green neck, and long tail.
The male of the species also sports an erect crest, which it uses alongside its tail to attract a mate during breeding season.
Highly territorial, and, as such, solitary, the Greater Bird of Paradise lives on a diet of nectar, fruits, seeds, and insects.
The only bird of prey on our list, the Crested Caracara could be mistaken for a Peacock at a quick glance due to both its size and its long tail.
Native to both North and South America, this bird is a member of the falcon family and, while it holds the bird of prey title, it’s not the greatest of hunters. Instead, it tends to feed on carrion, rather than actively seek out its prey.
Pretty easy to identify, the Crested Caracara has dark upperparts, a white neck, dark cap, and orange face mask. It also stands upon two long, orange legs; the feet of which are tipped with razor-sharp talons.
As you may have guessed from the name, the biggest identifying feature of the Black-Shouldered Peafowl is its black shoulders.
Also known as Java Peafowls, they also have a distinctive head pattern and their faces are marked with large black stripes.
Like a lot of birds, the female Black-Shouldered Peafowl is duller in color than the male and doesn’t have the same markings.
Both sexes feed in the classic Peafowl way though, foraging on the ground for seeds and insects.
Lady Amherst’s Pheasant
Another bird that is native to China, Lady Amherst’s Pheasant is easily mistaken for a Peacock due to its colorful markings and long, elegant tail.
Their upperparts are both blue and green that fade into each other in an ombre effect. The underparts are pale gray, while the breast is green.
The neck is white, and they sport a red and green cap. Finally, this super-colorful bird has a black and white tail that is flanked with outstanding orange feathers.
As you can see, quite a few birds can easily be mistaken for a Peacock!
Some are rarer than others and you’ll likely only spot them by visiting a zoo or aviary. Others, on the other hand, you may spot hopping around in your backyard.