When looking at a peacock, you may not immediately think that something so beautiful could attack you. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. While peacocks are normally great birds to have around, when pushed or upset, they have been known to get aggressive.

On the bright side, peacocks are not the kind of birds that simply attack for the fun of it. On the contrary, peacocks often need to be pushed into aggression or at least approached in the wrong way. Let’s take a look at the reasons why peacocks may show aggression and why they may attack humans. This may help you get along better with your peacocks and avoid any issues.


How Dangerous Can Peacocks Be?

peacock prey-pixabay
Image Credit: OrnaW, Pixabay

While their beauty makes you think these gorgeous birds would never hurt you, it’s possible. Simply take a look at them. Peacocks and their peahens are large birds. Their size itself is intimidating. Add in their beaks and claws and it’s easy to see how these birds could cause harm to humans. Unfortunately, there has even been a case of a peacock killing its owner in Thailand.

Why Peacocks Attack

Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons peacocks, or peafowl, may attack. This will help you learn when it’s best to stay away from these birds so that you can stay safer.

Peacocks Are Territorial Animals

As you would expect, peafowl are territorial birds. Just as they take pride in their feathers and like to preen, they also take pride and feel protective of their territory. When approaching this territory, even if it’s for feeding, you should always move slowly. If the peacock shows any signs of stress or aggression, move away and give them time to become more accepting of your approach.

Stay Away During Mating Season

Mating season is stressful for peafowl. The peahens are hoping to lay eggs and welcome chicks into the world. Peacocks are hoping to preen for their lady and mate with. While the hormones are running rampant, so is the irritability. For your safety, limit the amount of interaction you have with peacocks and peahens from March through August. This will keep you safer and allow the peafowl the opportunity to mate in private.

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Image Credit: jassiaa, Pixabay

Peacocks Can Be Protective

One of the main reasons peacocks and peahens are so irritable during mating season is because of their eggs. These birds do not mate and breed often. When they do, they want to keep their area and nests safe as possible. Considering how few eggs peahens lay, this is understandable. If you are out and happen to spot one of these nests, steer clear. A protective mother, and especially a father, can be very dangerous.

Peacocks Shouldn’t Be Considered Friendly Birds

While your instincts may be to run up to a peacock and stroke its feathers, it’s best not to. Yes, some people domesticate peacocks and zoos allow them to walk around but that doesn’t mean you should instantly interact with them. Keeping your distance from a peacock you aren’t familiar with is advisable, especially if you have young children around. Peacocks have been known to attack little ones due to their smaller sizes.



As you can see, peafowl may be beautiful, but they are no-nonsense birds. If you must be around peacocks, always approach with caution and respect their boundaries. If you see one of these large birds showing signs of aggression, it’s best to back away and let them continue on their way. Having this kind of respect for animals will keep you and them safer.

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Featured Image Credit: endri yana yana, Pixabay