Culebra is notable for many reasons, not just its pristine and photogenic beaches. One of its more unusual features is the number of chickens seen everywhere, but not just your ordinary run-of-the-mill domestic bird. The wild ancestor of the domestic chicken – Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) – was introduced at some time in the past, and has over-run the island. They are everywhere — backyards, streets, underfoot in outdoor cafes, as well as natural areas.
Originally found in parts of southern Asia, Red Junglefowl were most likely domesticated about 5,000 years ago, giving rise to the many varieties of domestic chicken we see today. They still exist in the wild in parts of their range, but were introduced to many islands all over the world by early explorers, as future food resources for hungry sailors. No doubt most of those Junglefowl genes have been swamped out by domestic chicken varieties, but the males still exhibit the striking plumage that differentiates them from just an ordinary rooster.