The “Learning Lounge” is a new and experimental segment on Nest Expressed. In this segment I research things about things that I find curious, in order to share these things with you and make you knowledgeable about things. That’s a lot of things! (Vocabulary is not one of those things.)
“Learning Lounge” episodes are under 500 words, but I link to sources of my findings, so that you can learn more (you won’t click on them, but it’s a nice gesture).
Today’s “Learning Lounge” is about…
The Wild Roosters of Kauai
Kauai is the oldest of the main Hawaiian islands and is home to just about 70,000 people. It’s also home to approximately 172,377 wild roosters (give or take). Like this guy my wife took a picture of:
Or these guys doing absolutely nothing of interest, whom I still filmed for no good reason whatsoever:
The point is: There are too many roosters and chickens on Kauai. Just living in the wild. They’re like stray cats, except for the part where they’re roosters instead of cats. What gives, Kauai? Where did all these roosters come from? Well, there are a few theories about the wild roosters of Kauai.
First Theory: Hurricane Hens
According to this theory, the chicken explosion (dibs on the new iPhone game name) dates back to 1992. That year, hurricane Iniki visited the island, and—being the drunken, out-of-control guest it was—wrecked the absolute crap out of Kauai. In the process, it smashed a number of chicken coops, unleashing the freedom-hungry birds. Having sampled the taste of sweet, sweet freedom, the roosters decided to take over the island and pretend they owned it. It worked.
Second Theory: Mongoose Madness
This theory suggests that the lack of mongooses is to blame for the wild roosters of Kauai running loose. What do mongooses have to do with anything? Well, back in the day, Kauai didn’t have a monopoly on roosters. In fact, all main Hawaii islands had healthy populations of feral chickens. Also present? Rats! Many, many rats. Hawaii needed a solution, so they imported a bunch of mongooses to hunt the pesky rodents. Hilariously, because mongooses hunt by day, while rats are active at night, mongooses didn’t give a rat’s ass about hunting rats. But they did develop a taste for—wait for it—chickens and their eggs.
Soon, Hawaii had lots of rats, lots of mongooses, and practically no chickens. Well, not all of Hawaii. Kauai was the only island that didn’t import any mongooses. Thus, the wild roosters of Kauai flourished, while the rest of the islands were overrun by rats and mongooses instead. The jury is still out on who’s luckier.
The reality is most likely a combination of the above two theories: Hurricane Iniki unleashed the roosters, while the lack of mongooses made sure the roosters could multiply freely.
Third Theory: Operation “Rooster Domination”
This controversial theory, first proposed on February 12, 2014 by one Daniel Nest, maintains that the wild roosters of Kauai are part of a secret US military project, aimed at breeding hyper-strong, hyper-intelligent chickens. Once perfected in the controlled environment of Kauai, these avian beasts will be introduced to other continents, in an attempt to spread US influence and introduce democracy and free will to foreign nations.
This theory is yet to gain traction among scholars, experts, and sane people. When asked about the basis for his claims, Mr. Nest proceeded to do the chicken dance, clucked loudly, yet refused any verbal comment.