Our stay was at the awesome Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation:
I'd stayed at their Keahou Beach Resort a few times in Kona, because that hotel is located next to BEST snorkel spot on the Big Island. (And they give you a free full breakfast to boot. This is major for Hawaii. Food is pricey. Unlimited bacon anywhere on the Big Island is a serious bonus.)
But that was on another island. Like I said, this was my first visit to Kauai. I didn't know what to expect.
|Yes, this is the view from the room.|
|Lots of flowers at the Outrigger Kiahuna, but no chickens.|
|A lovely dark hen and her chicks. Poipu Beach, July 2012.|
And yes, I had seen wild chickens, both on the Big Island and in Maui. Here's a shot of some Maui beggars when I visited in 2011. But none of these chickens were spotted or colorful, they were just the typical "wild" brown. So it was chickens like these ones I'd seen before, that I thought of:
|A proud mama hen in Maui, May 2011.|
|Begging for treats at a Maui car rental outfit.|
So imagine my surprise when I get to Kauai, and discover REAL Aloha chickens! There was a variety of colors, and while most were solid, about one in ten was mottled. Leg color varied, and was slate, pink/white, or yellow, often within the same flock.
|Mottling on this hen is great camouflage.|
This hen was in a nearby Botanical Garden.
|Up in a tree in Poipu Beach - not the same hen.|
Chosen by nature, these hardy chickens were tough, small, with upright fantails and excellent fliers. Shockingly, they looked very much like the small Alohas running around my back yard!
A great vacation, and as a bonus, I ended up with lots of "chicken swag" because Kauai is very proud of their chickens. I bought a chicken mug, chicken stickers for my car, and my boyfriend got a rooster t-shirt. I also carried a bag of bread with me everywhere I went to feed the chickens. (I especially loved the hens with tiny chicks in tow.)
So, unlike the mythical Chupacabra or Sasquatch, I now have proof that Aloha chickens are real. There are colorful spotted chickens who live on a beautiful beach in Hawaii, where they frolic and play all day long. Who would have thought?
|"KONA" - Foundation Aloha Hen, 2009.|