Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hawaii - Roosters and Hens

One thing I didn't anticipate in Hawaii was waking up to the cock-a-doodle-doo of a rooster. When I saw my first rooster wandering around the car rental office at the airport, it took me by surprise. When I saw roosters and hens casually walking throughout the park at the beach, I took a second look, but when I heard a rooster crow at 2:30am on our first night in Hawaii, I about make chicken soup.

I had heard that chickens wandered the island of Kauai, but I had no idea they were so prevalent. I just didn't get it - why did the islanders allow them to roam about? Wasn't anyone catching them for food? And how did all these livestock get here?

During one of the historical tours we took while vacationing, I learned that Kauai wasn't always the island of roosters. It turns out that many people on the island kept roosters and hens for eggs and meat. However, after a hurricane battered the island, many cages were destroyed and the chickens got loose. It wasn't hard for them to find places to hide in the dense jungle, and so they have continued to run free and reproduce since.

Additionally, Kauai is the only island without the mongoose. On other islands there are fewer birds because the mongooses eat the ground-nesting birds' eggs. No mongooses on Kauai means more chickens!

Here are a few of our many sightings:

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