The Original Chicken

Red junglefowl, Kauai, Hawaii (photo by Aaron Budgor on Flickr)

This is not somebody’s rooster. He didn’t escape to the wild but he has the same ancestors as the chickens we humans domesticated about 8,000 years ago for meat and eggs.

Red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) are native to India and east Asia but were introduced to Indonesia, the Phillippines and Polynesia where they remain wild today. When humans first came to Hawaii in 400 AD they brought red junglefowl with them. The birds walked into the jungle and felt right at home.

Today our Victor Emanuel Nature Tour visits Koke’e State Park on the island of Kauai where red junglefowl roam and run.

Red junglefowl, Kauai, Hawaii (photo by Aaron Budgor on Flickr)

We might hear them greet the dawn with a shorter call than the domestic rooster’s.

Call of male red junglefowl, XC319954 (audio from Xeno Canto)

And we might see some well-camouflaged females.

Red junglefowl female (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

It will be strange to see a Life Bird that’s also the original chicken.

(credits: two photos of solo males in Hawaii by Aaron Budgor on Flickr. female from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals)

Tour Day 4: Koke’e State Forest and Alakai Swamp, island of Kauai

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