It is best known for its feathers being brightly coloured, in emerald, purple and sapphire blue, and for a tail of enlongated feathers, with an "eye" pattern toward the tip, which the bird can spread out, as a courting display, and as a threat display to foes. These feathers are popular for the decoration of garb. Possibly for this reason peacocks tend to be aggressive in defending themselves. Peacock feathers are described by Ascham in the 16th century as being used on arrows for "gayness".
Peacock was highly prized as a "holiday" food in period, and was usually roasted and served in the same way (and for the same occasions) that modern North Americans would cook a turkey or duck. Peacocks were often made into subtleties by disguising them as live birds, including garnishing them with their own tailfeathers.