Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

A wrench in the works

Sometimes, out of the blue I see something so completely out-of-place that it literally stops me in my tracks.

Like today. I was riding my bike through Hollywood enjoying the sunshine and thinking that the upside of unemployment is that I’m going to avoid catching whatever it is that’s going around this year, when I saw this:

Gardner Street Guinea Fowl

That would be a guinea hen. Strolling down a residential street in the middle of Hollywood.

I stopped and looked with my head slightly cocked to the side – you know, like that dog in the old RCA ads – and when one of the homeowners walked out of his front door I asked what was the deal with the bird.

“Oh, it’s a turkey” he answered breezily “It’s been hangin’ out for a couple of weeks”

“You know, I’m pretty sure that’s a guinea hen.”

He looked at me and then repeated “It’s a turkey” in that slow, loud voice that you use when you’re absolutely certain the person you’re talking to is a complete idiot.

I gave up.

“Okay, it’s a turkey. Where did it come from?”

“Nobody knows. We figured it was going to be a Thanksgiving dinner and it got away. It’s just been cruising around. ”

Yeah, given the laws in Los Angeles about keeping noisy birds that can run like an Olympic sprinter on banned performance enhancing drugs, that’s probable.

Plus, it’s not a turkey. I’m 99.9% certain of this, but since I have nothing better to do with myself these days I’ll open up the floor to speculation.

Is this:

Are you still here, human?

a) a guinea fowl

guinea fowl

b) a turkey


c) Rupert Murdoch

rupert murdoch

One of the other neighbors thought it was a quail and said it had been around for ‘a few days’. She’d been putting out a pan of cat food for it at night because she didn’t want it to starve but was worried that the neighborhood stray cats were chasing the bird away from the food.

You know, I’ll freely admit to being an awful person, but I gotta say that I’d pay good money to see a cat – any cat except mine, of course – fight this bird over a pie plate full of Nine Lives kibble.

Filed under: life in LA, Los Angeles, Nikon, Non-Work, Photos, , , , , ,

19 Responses

  1. Wen says:

    Actually I think Britney got a new haircut. Same sized brain.

  2. geekhiker says:

    Perhaps that’s what a turkey looks like before it’s been, er, “enhanced” by the modern food industry?

  3. odocoileus says:

    Yeah. Gotta be guinea fowl.

    Maybe somebody was keeping one as a pet.

    Or maybe a French or Asian restaurant was keeping a live one for slaughter, and it escaped.

    So Cal is actually a good climate for guinea fowl. If there are more, they could become nuisance exotics.

  4. Stan says:

    That’s pretty deeply weird. And you’re right. It’s definitely not a turkey. In fact, we saw a turkey in Battery Park in Manhattan over the summer:

    Apparently, there’s a population of wild turkeys living in Manhattan now.

  5. Annika says:

    My husband used to drive past an old couple walking a goose (I think it was a goose). So part of me is convinced that this is someone’s beloved pet. Because I am overly sentimental about fowl, apparently.

  6. Peter says:

    Definitely a guinea fowl. Some people keep them as pets, or sort-of pets, this probably is one that got away.

  7. Not4me says:

    Hey, them’s good eatin’ girl.

  8. Charli says:

    It was captured, placed in a truck full of turkeys because the rednecks didn’t know better, then the fowl escaped an untimely death by pretending to be a rather large chicken.

  9. Michael Taylor says:

    Guinea Hen is my guess. We had a small flock of these birds when I was a kid in the sticks — until our dog killed them. Life in the country is not like a “Country Time Lemonade” commercial…

    Wild Turkeys look similar, but are quite a bit larger — although nothing like the genetic mutant behemoths we consume on Thanksgiving. And no, I ‘m not talking about Rupert. He’s a turkey of a different feather altogether.

  10. nezza says:

    I remember looking at my neighbour’s roof and thinking “Hmmm strange trick of the light – their chimney looks like two peacocks”. Then I looked closer and it was two peacocks. I had no idea they could even get off the ground with their tail feathers, never mind having no idea where they could have come from.

    It’s a shame Mr Guinea Fowl can’t tell us his story isn’t it.

  11. snarkolepsy says:

    You are probably right. But, I can see why she thought it was a turkey.

    See picture of wild turkey here:

  12. It’s totally a guinea hen. I once saw a parade of four of them marching down Fountain Avenue near Plummer Park. Like they owned the place.

  13. Peter says:

    snarkolepsy –

    Sorry, you were wrong. This is what Wild Turkey looks like.

  14. Turkey! nope.. Its a guinea….

  15. kateroo says:

    Guinea hen. No doubt. Have then in our very rural neighborhood. When they are out in force we have very few rattlesnakes. A couple of them don’t even yield right-of-way to local traffic. Have us all trained to stop and go around them. Tough birds

  16. dhs says:

    but it tastes like chicken right?

  17. sheila says:

    I agree with you… It’s a guinea hen. Had them on my parent’s farm when we were growing up.

  18. Emily says:

    It is a guinea hen. When it comes to anything that’s not a yellow fuzzy chick, laying hen, or a turkey, most people are completely at a loss as to how to categorize them. You could never mistake that wretched noise and ugly face for anything else but guinea fowl.

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