Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Something to Crow About: Kauai’s Birds of Paradise

KauiSm2014 008It was easy to be captivated by the beautiful birds that unknowingly entertained us during our time this fall on Hawaii’s island of Kaua’i.


This twosome clucked and cooed sweet nothings to each other early each morning, oblivious to the two of us sitting below them sipping coffee and watching the sun wake the day during our time in Princeville on Kauai’s North Shore.




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Morning love songs - Princeville, Kaua'i
Birds of paradise – just the phrase evokes images of cooing doves and graceful tropical creatures, like the swan that glided past our Poipu condo with regularity – undisturbed by the camera-toting visitors, like me.

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But, wait! These aren’t the ‘real’ birds of paradise on this island!


The real birds of this paradise – the one’s that give the island something to crow about -- are the hundreds of roosters, hens and chicks that freely roam the streets, sidewalks, parks, and public areas from restaurants to rental car lots.

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This fellow was patrolling the parking lot at a scenic overlook. . .

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And this one was ducking rain drops at the end of the road on the North Shore’s, Ha’ena Beach Park, in much the same manner we tourists were scurrying to find shelter from the often intense rain squalls there.

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But the funniest by far were the resident trio of mischief makers (pictured above) at the Marriott Waiohai in Poipu.  One morning while I was on our fourth floor deck, the normally quiet surroundings came to life with a commotion below me.

A guest in the ground floor unit just below us -- a grown man -- was shooing this Fowl Flock from his patio by doing what one might call a chicken dance -- hopping about while flapping his bended arms.  It worked for a minute or two then they chicken danced right back to him.  It went on for a few minutes .
(I was so busy laughing I didn’t think to get the camera).

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Chicken Marketing in Kaua'i
What Came First – the Chicken or the Egg?

One might ask from where the multitudes of these strutting troubadours came.  Historians can’t put all their eggs in one basket so I found two answers: the Polynesians who discovered the islands centuries ago brought chickens with them and they’ve been here since then. Some say the large numbers of Feral Fowl can be blamed on 1992’s Hurricane ‘Iniki that blasted the island with 145 mph winds (gusts of 165 mph) and scattered domestically raised poultry far and wide. 

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Whatever the origin, they are a permanent part of the population now.  Souvenirs with roosters are everywhere from tee-shirts to home-décor, notepads to Christmas tree ornaments!  The tourism folks really do have something to crow about!!

Post Script: Your thoughts on Columbus Day

HAL 2009 cruise photos 051I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank those of you who responded to last week’s post about celebrating Columbus Day. 
The responses to that post are examples of what blogging should be – a thoughtful exchange of ideas and opinions from across the globe.

Too often we bloggers get caught up in a quest of statistics – the more ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ the better. This post and its responses reminded me why blogging should be a richer experience than that. For that, I thank you! (Click here to access it and the comments.)

As a result of that post, one of our blogger buddies, currently residing in Fiji, shared a link to a post written by Jose Alejandro Amores, a professor at Grand Valley State University who wrote an insightful piece with a headline that begins, “We are all Columbus. . .”   I’d encourage you to take a moment to read it.

Hope to see you back again next week ~ until then, Happy Travels!

Linking Up this week at:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Travel Photo Monday – Travel Photo Discovery
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

56 comments:

  1. Hmm. I, like millions of other women, have a thing for fowl, and my favourites, caged in ceramic, porcelain, and wood, sit obediently on open shelves, while others stare out at me from behind framed glass, all carrying the same very cocky attitude about why they should be running free like their fellow fowl, and not wasting away cooped up in my kitchen!

    Those Kauais birds don't know how good they have it!!

    Happy Wednesday!

    xoxo
    Poppy

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    1. Oh Poppy, my kitchen is also populated with a flock of such creatures! And yes, those Kauai birds are treated like royalty. We tourists turn paparazzi when we spot one. . .and in my case, I grew up raising chickens, but there is something about a tropical bird that we couldn't resist -- even if it was a Feral Fowl! Have a great weekend xxx Jackie

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  2. Such attitude the roosters have. I feel like I'm on a holiday when I wake up to crowing roosters so for the most part I like them AND they make such great photography subjects.

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    1. I love to wake to crowing roosters! And had to laugh when -- no joke -- I overheard a guest inquire of a staff member, what type of bird it was that was crowing! Thanks for stopping by today!

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  3. Hi Jackie...laughing here. I have your chicken dancing neighbor in my minds eye now! I had no idea that Kauai was a rooster haven.

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    1. Kauai is Poultry Paradise, Nancie! But I also was unaware of it until we visited. I am reminded why I must watch what I do in public as somewhere there might be a blogger watching me. . . ;-)

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  4. I have live fowls in my back yard and many representations of them in my kitchen :) Man chasing fowl would have been a funny sight :)

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    1. Oh Jan, it sounds like we all share a love of those representations in the kitchen. Poppy, in Crete (comment above) also reports a fondness for them as do I! And yes a public chicken dance is a funny sight!! Thanks for the visit~

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  5. You've just reminded me of the chicken we were surprised to find in the parking lot at the trailhead of one of our Volcanoes National Park hikes on the Big Island. That bird had obviously been well fed by other visitors and came over rather expectantly when we got out of our car. The image of that man doing his version of the chicken dance had me laughing. Thanks for the link to "We are all Columbus." It's a well thought out commentary about the effects of vilifying the explorer.

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    1. Hi Michele - Glad to see the Poultry in Paradise spread themselves to other islands as well (and that they appear well fed). Also glad you enjoyed the commentary - it was a very well written reflection on the day and the man, I thought! Thanks for the visit!

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  6. How funny to see chickens roaming everywhere! :-) Seeing that man cavorting would've had me in stitches too. :-)

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    1. Yes, and it was also fun to see how many of us camera-toting shutter bugs raced after them for photos as if we had never seen chickens before! It was a fun memory - and I will refrain from public chicken dancing just in case their might be a blogger around. . .Have a great weekend!

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  7. i used to have chickens at home, and they're lovely creatures to have around! The image of the man chicken-dancing is great. I'm sure I did that a few times as well!

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    1. Molly, I grew up with chickens around and I remember them as being a dull white color and paid little attention to them. . .so I laughed at myself chasing with camera in hand these colorful Kauai birds as those I'd never seen a chicken before. Thanks for your visit and taking time to comment!

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  8. I'm favoring the hurricane scattering the domesticated chickens explanation. The only other place in our travels where I can recall being impressed by the number of feral chickens (and cats) was in Key West, Florida. Interestingly, there the feral chickens and cats seem to have adopted a live and let live attitude towards each other.

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    1. Interesting concept: feral chickens and cats living in harmony. . .it would make for great tourist photos! Thanks for the visit Suzanne - I am enjoying your photos of South Africa!

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  9. I also love the roosters.. They seem to be on the loose everywhere I travel lately.. Hawaii is one of my favorite places to visit.. Lovely images, thanks for sharing..Have a happy new week!

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    1. Thanks for visiting today! Roosters are plucky characters aren't they? No matter where one happens upon them! Have a great week ~ and see you soon again I hope!

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  10. What fun! I love the paradise chickens!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks so much for leaving a comment - it is always appreciated!

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  11. What a fun post - feral fowl - a new term for me and interesting about their possible origin. I guess any laid eggs are finders keepers.
    Like you, I very much like the discussions that can occur on blogs and many times we can read about something we'd not thought of ourselves. Even to the point of asking for opinions about a colour of paint for a room etc.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday and sharing your travels with us Jackie.

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    1. Yes Judith one of the great benefits of blogging, I think, is the development of new friends and conversations. I love comments and getting to know others through both what they say about something I've written as well as something they've written on their blogs. Love Mosaic Mondays as well! xx Jackie

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  12. I enjoyed watching your chickens come and go and could picture this man out in his bedroom slippers doing a chicken dance trying to get them away from the deck. I like a open forum kind of post that makes others think, to link, instead of just read and lead.

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    1. Cindy, I love that phrase! "a post that makes other think, to link instead of just read and lead." I will keep that one in mind for some time. Thanks much for your visit today ~ always appreciated! Jackie

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    2. Hi Jackie, I'm back, I woke in the middle of the night last night with your post on my mind, ya no kidding, funny how coincidences happen. I read your blog and our business back home where we are there is small batch coffee roasting. We call ourselves the roaster roosters and our tag line is something to crow about. I found it funny your post has most of these words in it. Just saying.... http://coffeeroasting.ca/

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    3. Oh Cindy, what a wonderful connection - Love that name, Roaster Roosters! (I sent you an email as well in response to this comment).

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  13. I would never expect to see ferrel chickens, but your explanation does make sense. Here we have hens and now a rooster that was supposed to be a hen. We don't let them roam free for the fear of hawk and fox in the area. The roosters are handsome, but are they aggressive? Roosters can be rather ugly. Lovely photos and I learned something new.

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    1. Hi Ann, glad to have you stop by. The roosters weren't really aggressive - most the time they turned and walked away from tourists (especially the camera toting ones) but when food was involved they let their fear rest and were unabashedly uninvited guests under outdoor tables or public garbage cans. Thanks for the visit today~ much appreciated!

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  14. You are right. The birds captivate us with their actions.

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    1. They certainly do, Rajesh! Thanks for stopping by today - I loved your post on the train!

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  15. Chickens and roosters are wonderful subjects to watch and photograph!
    Amazing that they just roam about where they like!
    A great post Jackie :))

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post! They were plucky little critters and fun to photograph!!

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  16. I love all the birds in your photos. Sometimes I wish I kept chickens. We're allowed up to ten urban chickens in Vancouver and sometimes I think I should go for it. :D

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    1. Veronica - I love waking to the sound of roosters crowing! There's been a big bugaboo in Kirkland (your neighbor to the south) about it so we have strict 'chicken laws' but if I wasn't traveling so much, I think I would go for some chickens myself! Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. Wow, I didn't know that about that particular island. Some of my favourite TV shows are from Hawaii, but perhaps not from that particular island, as I've not seen chickens in any of the scenes. LOL Interesting post and you got some great pictures of the chickens. Pamela

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    1. Are you a Hawaii 5-0 fan, like me? Appreciate your visit today Pamela and thanks for taking time to comment! Hope you'll come back again soon~

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  18. Hi Jackie,
    OIh I remember those birds of paradise very well. I guess anyone who visits Kuai can't miss them. I remember them crowding the trailhead when we were going hiking and some even followed us on the trail. I think they were adorable. It nice of you to find out their possible origin and share it with us.

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    1. They do seem to be everywhere, don't they? I did the research because we honestly didn't recall seeing a chicken, let alone hundreds of them when we went to Kauai back in the (olden days) the 80's. . .still don't think they were roaming then as they do now so I am leaning towards the hurricane distribution as an explanation! thanks for stopping by!

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  19. Very fun post. I really enjoyed it. We had a rooster at our barn one time. He was a miniature and was quite cocky! Actually mean sometimes. I enjoyed the chickens. This was a fun post. Thanks for sharing it and thanks for coming over to my Watermark post. I actually think the problem is the computer not Picmonkey. I also use Picasso and have the same problem ocassionally. I think it is something to do with when they are uploaded from my camera. Thanks anyway for commenting so I knew you came by. I am following your adventures now.
    Have a great week.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post today Grantham! And it was comforting knowing that I am not the only one who has struggled with watermarks! So happy to have you back and following our adventures. . .please keep commenting!

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  20. The Feral Fowl would add a lot of character to Kauai! Chickens are such fun to watch.

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  21. They do have a certain plucky way about them that gives an air of aloofness! Thanks for the comment, Lorrie, as always I appreciate the time you spend with us!

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  22. One of the most entertaining aspects of life on Kaua'i. Until they get in your banana trees, that is. Our downstairs neighbor would throw shoes at the rooster who crowed too early. They're good centipede eaters, though, so we couldn't get too mad. ;-)

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    1. Oh Betsy I hadn't thought of that! I did suspect they could become pests. . .after watching a couple of them 'attack' the contents of a garbage can at a park -- there was no deterring them. . .they had hit the mother lode! Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. I loved your "bird's eye view" of Kaua'i. It's not often that environments are so welcoming to birds.

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    1. LOL Irene! I thought I had included every fowl 'frase' possible but you got me with "bird's eye view" Thanks so much for stopping by~

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  24. We've both cursed and laughed at the roosters and chickens during our travels as it didn't take us long to find out that the crack of dawn can occur around the clock! However, some of the birds we've seen have been so colorful and in the words of Bob Seeger, "I love to watch them strut!"

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    1. I didn't mind the crack of dawn wake up calls in Kaua'i as it was so nice - the more I was awake the better, . . and as you said, they do have a strut to take note of! thanks for stopping by Anita!

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  25. I love Kauai and I even love the chicken!. I even like the mother that ran me off and made and almost me trip over a curb. Thank you for the reminder of what blogging should be about. It's so easy to get caught up in the numbers and the statistics and that takes some of the fun out of it. Thanks for taking me back to Kauai with our wonderful photos :-)

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    1. Thanks much for the comment Michelle. Glad you also find that those numbers and stats sometimes take the fun out of blogging and also glad you love Kauai and its feral fowl!

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  26. I love the Kauai chickens and roosters, but I gather many locals are not so fond of them. You can see one of my captures here, http://travelswithcarole.blogspot.com/2014/07/sights-to-see-kauai-hawaii.html

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    1. I could see why they might get tiresome to the locals, much like the deer in the Pacific Northwest that we visitors to the wooded areas adore and the locals see them as pests who eat gardens, flowers, plants and everything else in sight! Thanks for the link - I've loved your posts on Kaua'i.(and San Diego)

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  27. We were only in Kauai for a day for a cruise stop so I don't remember much of the chickens. I do have fond memories of scenes with all the chickens like some of your photos while growing up in Guam. The roosters were our alarm clocks :) Such a fun post!

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    1. Until this year that had been our only time on Kauai and we certainly didn't recall seeing any roosters, chickens or other types on our whirlwind cruise stop either Mary. I do love their wake-up calls in the morning. Thanks for stopping by!

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  28. I enjoyed your article, but I loved the photos of your "love birds"...what a way to start the day!!

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    1. They were a delightful way to start the day, Marilyn. Thanks for stopping by today and glad you enjoyed that lovey dovey twosome!

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