I need your help solving a mystery. Last Friday I was driving home from town after work and decided to stop along the way and pick up rocks for a wall I’ve been building. I’ve discovered several places where the road department has dumped piles of perfect sized granite in out of the way places on side roads and pull offs. I’ve been working on one pile for several weeks which had unfortunately been discovered by some other folks and to my dismay had been picked over to the point of forcing me to go look in the surrounding bushes for rocks that had been overlooked and left behind. In my search I squatted down to look under some sagebrush when I noticed a large bird intently watching me. At first glance I thought it was a young hawk or eagle by the look of its head but it had no fear of me. In fact, when I stretched out my hand it left its place of hiding and walked right up to me and stepped onto my hand. By the way it walked I realized it wasn’t a bird of prey, but possibly a type of chicken I had never seen before. It was not only friendly, but actually liked being held.
Not knowing what else to do with it I put it on the front seat floor of my pickup and continued my search for rocks. When I was done I got in and continued up the highway feeling uneasy about the way this bird was watching me. I had never had an experience like this but by that time wasn’t surprised when she jumped up onto my lap, tucked her head under her wing and went to sleep. She sat completely peaceful and still until I stopped two more times on my quest for rocks. Each time I put her back on the floor and each time she jumped back on my lap when I got in the truck.
I called Nancy on my cell phone while in-route to tell her about my new friend and when I pulled into the driveway she and Lily met me. We seriously couldn’t tell for certain what kind of bird she was and decided to give her a choice of raw meat or chicken mash as a test. She preferred the mash, but also ate the meat. (But then any chicken will eat meat.) I’m convinced now she is a chicken, but for the life of me can’t figure why she would be sitting under a pile of sagebrush out in the middle of nowhere. There wasn’t a house for several miles in either direction.
She honestly looks like a cross between a chicken and a hawk having the head and coloring of a hawk and the legs of a chicken – (Maybe she is a Chicken-hawk in the true sense of the word!) – My friend Phil McCune who sells chickens says she is a young Araucana hen, but he can’t account for the fact that she loves me so much (not that I’m not lovable) or what she was doing all by herself in such a out of the way place.
What do you think? Any ideas? Let us know.