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A wild cockfighting rooster chicken

Note the long and sharp spurs on it's legs! Although this looks like an old-fashioned "barnyard chicken" variety, this is actually a descendant of cockfighting chickens. This is a wild or feral rooster chicken in Kauai, Hawaii. The males are pretty striking and colorful birds, and they are everywhere in Kauai! View LARGE and on Black (incredible detail).


Why Does Kauai Have So Many Wild Chickens? If you’ve been to Kauai then you’ve probably noticed all the feral chickens. They’re hard to miss. I’d imagine just about everyone who has been to Kauai has vacation photos of the waterfalls, the beaches, beautiful Waimea Canyon, and then there’s the obligatory photo of the chickens (I tried to make this one as iconic and striking as I could -- they are after all, pretty magnificent birds, even if they are a little obnoxious at times :). So what does Kauai have so many wild chickens? Most people suggest that the feral chicken population can be traced back to when Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai in 1992. It’s been reported that the devastating hurricane destroyed a number of chicken farms (that's what The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook suggests happened). Wikipedia suggests that sugarcane plantation laborers in the late 1800s and early 1900s brought and raised chickens (for eating and cockfighting) and many got loose over the years and multiplied. I think it's probably a combination of the two.


(Orig: April 29, 2010 at 11.33AM MDT Pop#186,C/7,F/21)

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Taken on February 3, 2009