The Red Junglefowl run around on most of the Hawaiian Islands like you might see gulls or pigeons on the mainland. Heck, there’s even one in our neighborhood. The strangest thing about these red junglefowl are that they don’t just crow (cock-a-doodle-doo) first thing in the morning. They do it constantly!
The red junglefowl are pleasant site to see, though. They get along mostly with other birds while foraging, such as the zebra dove.
Junglefowl will live off of wild seeds and insects like beetles and forage almost constantly. It is not uncommon to see a hen and her chicks walking together in many state parks around Hawaii.
Red Junglefowl Facts
Scientific Name: Gallus gallus Family: Phasianiae
Ancestor of the domesticated chicken
Size: males from 65 to 75 cm and females 42-46 cm
Red junglefowl originated in southeast Asian and were probably brought to Hawaii by the Polynesian settlers via long range canoes. After time, and under great weather conditions, escapees were able to form large spread feral colonies all over Hawaii.
Cockfighting, although illegal in Hawaii, is a pretty common underground sport. The fact that there are amateur backyard “breeders” has probably helped to contribute the feral colonies.
The male red junglefowl has brightly colored plumage of red, brown, gold, blue, orange, green, maroon and gray with two small white patches on either side of the face or head. The female is dully colored. The junglefowl can be told apart from the domesticated chicken or rooster by the white patches on the face and the greyish color of their bare legs. Also, they are leaner and more compact than their domesticated cousins.