Checking in on the Key West Gypsy chicken population during the extended COVID19 closure of the island. Local award-winning wildlife photographer found these fine feathered fowl running more boldly than ever, through the empty streets. With no tourists, and few residents or cars, the chickens are looking particularly relaxed, healthy and downright cocky.
While many towns around the world have seen local wildlife, like bears and bobcats, sauntering through neighborhoods, close to houses and commercial buildings, in Key West it’s the chickens. And not just the usual scratching their way through gardens and roosting in parking lots, but putting their full strut on, in some of Key West’s famous street locations.
Bill caught them with his candid eye - hens and baby chicks, and cocks with combs and feathers shining brightly in the sun, being themselves with the run of the town. Running unguarded afoul in the streets you can imagine their cackling, chatter, and cock-a-doodle-dooing. Especially in these quiet times with Mallory Sunset Celebration closed, Duval Street devoid of tourists, most bars and many stores closed, few local residents or cars downtown - we can hear the Gypsy chickens contentedly murmuring trills as flocks of fowl wander around Mallory Square, and strut along Duval Street.
What did the Gypsy chicken say while standing on Duval Street - between the CVS pharmacy and the closed up attractions Ticket Booth? “Can’t get a ticket or an aspirin around this island even if you’re willing to pay with your life to Popeyes.” Then a ‘one human family’ man saunters by puffin’ it up and chicken feathers fly, baby chicks rapidly scream “peep, peep, peep, peep,” hens and roosters loudly cluck and squawk and run off. One lone cock pecks up a joint the dude dropped to the street... and the Key West story goes on and on and on.