That there is a feral chicken, roaming the beach in Kauai. I took a lot of photos when I was on Kauai last month, of beaches, sunsets, coastline, fish, and jungly stuff. But if you want a pic that captures the essence of the island, it has to have a chicken in it.
It had been twelve or thirteen years since I’d been to Kauai, and I didn’t remember seeing chickens the last time. But this time we noticed them right away.
At first we made a game of it, saying “chicken!” when we saw one on the side of the road. Then that got too commonplace, so we started counting them. But on the sides of the some roads we easily counted 20 or so. Finally we stopped mentioning them, except for an occasional comment like, “Damn, this island has a lot of wild chickens.”
There are so many that the Hawaiian visitor’s bureau even has a page answering the question, “Why Does Kauai Have So Many Wild Chickens?”
Two theories: the Hawaii site cites wikipedia, which 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.” (The entry has since been changed. Don’t you just love chicken scholarship?)
The other is that when Hurricane Iniki walloped the island in 1992, it destroyed a number of chicken farms.
Since I don’t remember them on the island in 1990, I’ m going with the hurricane theory.
No matter. Go to Kauai. Because there are zillions of ways to enjoy it that are chicken-free. Like this: (image via wikipedia)