"our" Ringneck Rooster

These are photos of a Ringneck Rooster that adopted us and the ground below our hanging bird feeders during the winter of 2003-04. He was a daily visitor and learned to tolerate "Skoobie", the resident black Pointer within two feet of him. Earlier in the season he had a Ringneck Rooster buddie which walked with a noticable limp. But he disappeared.


Skoobie watches the Ringnecks,
to make sure they don't get any of his Groundhogs.


In time, the remaining Rooster learned to march through the opened greenhouse door making a sound similar to the "Gawk, gawk, gawk" of a chicken hen. He expected to find Pop Corn kernels in an outstretched hand, after which he would unceremoniously march back outside to linger in the area under the bird feeders.

He would come when called and walk down the garden path after the person with Pop Corn kernels in hand. Evenings found him in the vacinity of some 30-foot spruce trees with thick tops. It was thought that he spent his nights roosting in them. 
 

About the middle of February, he began to take on a radical appearance. The red patches on his cheeks began to grow until they were thick fleshy waddles that extended above his head. His "Ear" feathers also lengthened noticeably, as his spurs took on a new dimension. Even his nostrils gained new prominence.

He began showing off this mating finery with frequent crowing and beating of wings. But no hens were evident, and his last appearance was about March 08 when he was last seen walking into a nearby open field, which was unusual considering his past preference for overgrown protective areas. 

This new-found bravery, influenced by the chemical Testosterone, may have been his undoing, since these open fields are the hunting grounds of Red Tailed Hawks and Red Tailed Foxes, who have no respect for brave Ringneck Roosters. It is even rumored among local wildlife that Hawks and Foxes can mimic the call of a pretty Ringneck Hen.