We were very excited to go to Kauai. We read the guidebooks, made reservations and couldn't wait to get started. Even though we were up late on New Year's Eve, we landed on Kauai in the early afternoon.
We first noticed the chickens at the rental car company. The clerk said we should expect to see wild chickens on the island. What she didn't say was that we'd see the chickens everywhere. There were chickens and roosters and chicks every place we turned. We saw chickens by the hotel pool. A chicken and some chicks walked across the beach outside the hotel as our class held child's pose. Roosters walked across the street as we drove. Really, they were everywhere.
No one had a good explanation for all the wild chickens until we took a Waimea Canyon tour. The guide told us that about 25 years ago there was a category 4 hurricane, which destroyed the island. Residents had roosters and chickens in their yards. After the hurricane, the fowl ran wild until there were so many that no one could contain the birds.
The chickens looked like birds we had at home. The roosters, though, were something completely different. Those birds were really pretty with bright orange, teal, red, blue or purple feathers. Souvenir shops sold t-shirts featuring the roosters. I brought one home.
In addition to the feral poultry, there were lots of feral cats. Interestingly, the cats and birds seemed to get along well. We never got used to the sounds of roosters screaming "cock a doodle do" all day, but we did start to accept the charm of it.