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The chicken is perhaps the most widespread avian species in the world - and the exotic Red Jungle Fowl is the ancestor of the hybrid Araucana and Rhode Island Red. Scientists postulate that chickens were first domesticated from jungle fowl in India, about 5,000 years ago. Traders and travelers then carried them far and wide. Find your local Audubon and learn more about wild birds. To see - and hear - a rooster crowing, be sure to watch the video!
Written by Chris Peterson
This is BirdNote!
[Crowing of an Araucana/Rhode Island Red rooster]
Maybe you’re thinking, “Now there’s a bird I know!” But did you know that the chicken is perhaps the most widespread avian species in the world? And that the exotic Red Jungle Fowl [Call of the Red Jungle Fowl] is the ancestor of this hybrid Araucana (pronounced ah-ruh-CAH-nuh) Rhode Island Red rooster?
[Crowing of rooster]
Using information from DNA, scientists postulate that chickens were first domesticated from jungle fowl in India, some 5,000 years ago. Traders and travelers then carried them far and wide, to Asia Minor, Africa, and Europe. Julius Caesar is said to have noted that the Britons “kept them for pleasure, but not for the table.” The farming of chickens for their meat and eggs would develop later.
[Crowing of rooster]
Why is the crowing of a rooster so regular, so persistent? Well, within the world of chickens, the established pecking order has the rooster at the top. And apparently, each new day is an opportunity to remind all others of his dominance. In return, the rooster protects his flock from intruders. But from the alarm calls emanating from this chicken coop, [Alarm calls] it sounds as if this rooster is asleep on the job.
[Alarm calls of the chickens in the coop, louder]
You won’t find a rooster on the Birds of BirdNote calendar, but it offers a year’s worth of other birds. Find it on our website, birdnote.org. I’m Mary McCann.
Calls of the rooster and alarm calls of the hens recorded by C. Peterson.
Ambient chicken sounds provided by Kessler Productions
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2010 Tune In to Nature.org December 2010 Narrator: Mary McCann