Peacock running outside

Peafowls move outdoors at Helsinki Zoo – the zoo to open in June

The Helsinki Zoo peafowls – peacocks and peahens – spend winters in an indoor enclosure and move outdoors in the spring. This spring the zoo’s peafowls were let out on Tuesday, 5 May.

The beginning of the summer season for peafowls at the zoo depends on the time of the spring migration of wild birds. When the migratory birds nesting on the Korkeasaari island of Helsinki Zoo have arrived and no symptoms of diseases have been detected in them, peafowls can go out safely. Altogether 35 peafowls roam free at the zoo throughout the summer season.

The peafowl mating season starts when spring arrives. Many of the Helsinki Zoo peacocks (male peafowls) were spreading their impressive feathers for weeks in their indoor enclosure before they were let out. When the indoor enclosure’s gate was opened, many of the peafowls sprinted out towards their mating grounds. The zoo now rings with the customary peafowl mating calls.

Helsinki Zoo has had peafowls for more than a hundred years. The species is common peafowl (pavo cristatus). The flock has been joined by a newcomer – a male that moved to Helsinki Zoo from Zurich Zoo in Switzerland during the winter. At first, the new peacock couldn’t figure out how to leave the winter enclosure but learned his way out by following the others. The oldest peafowls at Helsinki Zoo are over 20 years old.

Helsinki Zoo will reopen to the public on the 1st of June. It will be known in the next few days what kind of limitations and restrictions will be in place in the reopened zoo. The Finnish Government has announced that safety at zoos in the current coronavirus situation will be ensured by limiting the number of visitors, by maintaining a coronavirus-safe distance between customers, and by maintaining a high standard of hygiene. Information on the reopening of Helsinki Zoo is updated on the Helsinki Zoo website.

Photo: Annika Sorjonen (2020) Korkeasaari Zoo