Last week, Mom and I were driving south on I-5 when Mom thought she saw a black chicken in the grass between the north and south lanes. No, it must have been a crow.
Not that chickens are rare in Bellingham. Add urban farming to our list of granola eating, socks and sandals wearing, think global-act local population. I'm not surprised to see chickens wandering around the neighborhoods, but I am surprised their owners are unaware of the chicken hawks and bald eagles soaring where seagulls used to fly. Down the street from my house, a hawk nest fills every year with two chicks. And just around the corner, chickens roam free.
People who live in the county at least keep their chickens in pens with hopes of protecting them from fly-by attacks. Karen, who gave me a dozen of her special hens colored eggs, told me about the problem she had with falcons. She would go out in the morning to feed her chickens and find a headless hen waiting for her. It took a while before she found out that a falcon was killing the bird and making off with the head, which is the only part that is small enough for it to eat I suppose. Either that, or it was a spiteful, bully bird that wouldn't tolerate chicken living the easy life of domesticity. I used to see falcons in town, but not since the hawks displaced the owls.
I forgot all about Mom's chicken-crow siting until Jerry and I were going to lunch today. Sure enough, in the same stretch of median, pecking happily through the weeds and grass, was a black, unmistakeable chicken.
I don't know why the chicken crossed the road, but it appeared to be safe, well fed, and not anxious to get to the other side.
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