Moa (Red Junglefowl)

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Moa (Red Junglefowl | Coq bankiva | Gallus gallus): Red Junglefowl are found everywhere on Kaua’i. In fact, it is sometimes hard not to run them over with your car and the roosters start singing at 3am! But most of the birds seen outside of the island’s highland forests are escaped birds or hybrids of the domesticated and feral subspecies. It is in fact hypothesized that they are so common on the island now because many domestic birds were released into the wild when 1992’s Hurricane Iniki destroyed a large number of chicken coops and the escapees were never retrieved.

Although this beautiful rooster was taken near Kaua’i’s highlands, in Waimea Canyon Park, the fact that it lived close to human activity in open country and that it did not seem particularly shy indicates that this individual was not in fact wild. I did not get to see the wild population (or any of Hawai’i’s endemic passerines, for that matter), because it was pouring rain on the day we chose to go to the highlands and decided against walking the Alakai Swamp Trail or any of the rainforest trails. These trails are definitely on my bucket list, however!

Taken on January 1, 2016, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 640 | 200mm | f/5.6 | 1/640). Not baited, called in or set up.

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