A new study shows that as male peacocks shake their long feathers in courtship, the iridescent eyespots remain nearly stationary and captivate females.
And dynamic feather vibrations enhance male peacocks’ display for female viewers. Researchers say courtship displays can signal the relative physical quality of males vying for females. A male peacock, for example, entices peahens by raising and vibrating his long train feathers. The vibrations both make the feathers rattle and make the brightly colored eyespots appear to hover motionless against an oscillating iridescent background.