Our staff photographer Susantha Wijegunasekera was at hand to capture
this beautiful sight of a peacock in all its beauty, surveying the area
around in the Wildlife Reserve in Wasgamuwa. The peacock, largest of the
pheasants, is native to Sri Lanka and India. It is often the male of the
species that is shown in photographs, showing the beautiful plumage.
Hence the simile "proud as a peacock".
The female (pea hen) lacks the beautiful ornamental feathers or the
Although native to Sri Lanka, the peacock population has gone down
considerably, for, at one time it was considered a delicacy and peafowl
were hunted down indiscriminately. Pea fowl are tamed quite readily and
sometimes can be seen in the lawns of some of the hotels, and wealthy
For Hindus in Sri Lanka, peacock holds a special place too, for
Skanda, the God of Kataragama sits with his wives astride a peacock.
Lord Vishnu, one of the major Gods, is also often shown with a peacock
in the background.