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  • Writer's pictureLiz Totton

Daily Photo–Chickgdeon

Chicken Like Bird in Al Ain

Chicken Like Bird

If it walks like a chicken and it talks like a chicken but it looks nothing remotely like a chicken and behaves more like a pidgeon, is it a chicken, or is it a pidgeon? Or, is it is a Chickgdeon? (Yes, I coined this brilliant new term for a small beast, I think.) This is today’s burning question. I am kind of thinking I need to re-name this blog, Abu Dhabi’s burning questions or more aptly “Lizzy’s Burning, Daily Question Photos”–does anyone else even care?! Verdict is still out on that one.  

There is not an awful lot of fauna native to the UAE--of which I am familiar, at least. There are two lovely birds that live here on my beach. I photographed one here some time ago. I have no idea what kind of birds they are either. I think you might be getting the picture that I don’t know my plants. I don’t know my birds. What do I know? You may wonder. Well, I know my gemstones, artists, history and a lot of useless trivia–that’s what.

This lovely “Chicken-Like” creature crossed our road in Al Ain at the Jebel Hafeet Mercure hotel. This hotel was a small, mountain-top resort upon the UAE’s highest peak, named Jebel Hafeet. It is located on the border of Oman, and it checks in at 1,249 metres (4,098 ft), which is impressive for here but somewhat Ho-Hum for the US west coast. I can tell you the views were lovely all the same. Anyway, the hotel has a small water park, which exhausted my 13 & 9 year olds–it’s small, but still a lot of fun. There are swim-in bars, waterslides, cafés, and views aplenty–something for everyone. For the little ones, there were these “chickdgeons.” There were a few pairs of them roaming the grounds, scratching around, picking up scraps and paying dearly for the chicken dumpster-diving paradise that was this resort. All the littlest kids were chasing them. My older kids started to as well, until they realized that the pair that they were chasing were a couple of some sort. Every time the birds were separated by kids chasing them, the lone bird clucked one part chicken and one part desperate victim for the other bird who could have been anywhere: trapped down the craggy mountainside, under a sun lounger or, worse, near more children! It reminded me of the stories you hear about Emperor penguins and how they are monogamous. These birds were clearly searching for their one, unique mate. Now, I have no idea if these birds were just friends or “friends with benefits”–this was, of course, unclear since I don’t speak “Chickgdeon”–but this one bird was desperate to find its friend. It was looking everywhere for him or her.

We thought they were enchanting. They were probably some cross between a chicken and a pidgeon. Whatever they were, they were friends of some sort, separated about every 5 minutes by a gleeful toddler being filmed (or chased) by his/her parents, a kid with a movie camera, or me–though I attempted to be a very respectful paparazza. We, as a family, love birds. I was enchanted by this pair. What on earth are they?

Chicken Like Bird in UAE

Chicken Like Bird in UAE

The Cry of Desperation:


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