Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tropical Bird

One species of large multi-colored tropical birds is incredibly common on each of the islands we've visited. They mostly walk around and are so tame as to be able to observe them easily, not so as to catch them but to get quite close. The are wild and we can hear them from the anchorages up in the thickest of jungle greenery or they strut around on soccer fields or between garden fence posts. When we take walks we invariable startle a big male down from his perch in a tree or see a little half grown fuzzy one running through the underbrush. Their meat is part of the local cuisine and their tameness lends itself to easy meals. A person can merely walk outside and with a bit of stealth, capture a bird. Their eggs are also edible but the locals don't collect them to eat because they can be purchased in packages of 12 at the local markets.

These beautiful tropical birds are none other than what we would call a common chicken. The sound of a rooster crowing is more common here than sounds of cell phones in a downtown Trader Joe's store. They were brought to the islands centuries ago and are not cultivated or penned up because they're bigger than the cats around here and seem to fend quite well on their own.

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