Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Attack Chicken!

Clarisse, the last of the San Juan feral chickens (top in the icon, as a young pullet), has been raising a family of chicks (not her own, but fostered eggs, who are now close to 3 months old. Three of them are fluffy white Silkie stock, not at all like Mom, but still carefully tended. Then there is Supper and Maukwa. Supper is a nondescript brown roo, and Maukwa is a black Polish/Showgirl with a naked neck and afro feathered head.

Clarisse was hanging out with us and the chicks yesterday. Andrew was holding Supper. Suddenly, threading the needle, came a bird doing a "death from above" through the overhanging tree branches, swooping with intent to snatch a chick for its dinner. The chicken family exploded to life and tried to go to ground under the roses.

And with a war cry, Clarisse lifted off and flew directly at the hawk, and launched herself into the attack. She physically knocked the hawk to one side, trying to peck it and attack with her mini-spurs. (Yes, this is a hen with spurs.) Shocked, it managed to right itself, and flew off in a panic. The chicks were in hiding. Clarisse came to a rest in the top of the rose bush (6 feet up) and let out a final war cry. The chickies didn't come out of hiding until she gave the all clear. I picked her up and carried her back to them.

I've never seen anything like it. Those San Juan chickens are tough cookies. Of course, I've accused her of channeling the late Siamese cat, but still... Wow, attacking a hawk. And winning. I'm keeping this chicken. She makes me think of myself in some ways, so I guess that's part of it.

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