Learning Lounge: “Wild Roosters of Kauai”

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:

One of the wild roosters of Kauai

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.

12 thoughts on “Learning Lounge: “Wild Roosters of Kauai”

  1. Just found you thru Aussa Lorens…….And those Kauai Roosters? THEY ARE ATTACK BIRDS.
    Went there on vacation years ago; it was lovely….Love critters. I was warned to admire them from afar. Didn’t listen. GOT CHASED BY LARGE HOSTILE WILD FOWL. You are quite obviously correct, they are part of some “X-files sekkrit gov’t project”, and they are terrifying…and effective…./waves “Hi!” to NSA.


    • See?! I knew I wasn’t paranoid. I mean, if I was the only one with these thoughts, then I’d clearly be crazy. But now that there’s one more person…it’s a conspiracy, I tell you!

      So they chased you, huh? I was spared that fate, probably because I’m so imposing and scary, with my 1.7 meters of height.

      Thanks for dropping by and enjoy the weekend…without too much NSA.


  2. If doing the chicken dance doesn’t validate a theory about chickens, then I don’t know what would. Living out in the sticks I see a lot of chickens, coincidence? I hardly think so, of course I hardly think. πŸ˜‰


  3. I absolutely LOVE this new series!!! You had me laughing from the start. Your wife is an AMAZING photographer by the way. Wow!
    The mongoose doesn’t give a rats ass about hunting rats… hilarious.
    Love your video footage. More please!

    My neighbor has a rooster but it appears to be the only one for miles. We also have lots of rats but no mongooses that I know of. I’ll do a video.

    But seriously… more please!


    • Looking forward to your thrilling footage of rats and maybe mongooses!

      My wife thanks you for the kind words, and I agree with you – she takes fantastic pictures.

      I’ll try to keep the “learning lounge” a regular thing, so that I can share my dubious wisdom with the masses.


  4. That’s 2.46 roosters for every human being. Always important to have a spare rooster. Or a spare 1.46.

    I think your theory is, of course, correct. It’s the only logical possibility. Oh, and your video footage? Enthralling. I popped some popcorn so I could really enjoy the full effect.


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