Updated: Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012, 5:56 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012, 5:56 PM MDT
AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) - If you have visited any of the numerous bars or restaurants on Rainey Street recently, it is apparent that the area is booming with new development.
But this development has begun to interfere with Rainey Street’s most popular resident.
“Geraldine and I are friends,” Rainey Street resident Siri Hutcheson said. “I come out here and chit-chat with her every couple of days.”
Hutcheson has lived in the Milago Condominiums on Rainey Street for several years
“It took us awhile to figure out what she was,” Hutcheson said. “And then, after awhile, we just kind of got enamored with her.”
Who is the popular girl who is earning the attention of all of Rainey Street?
Geraldine, as residents have named her, is a guinea fowl – a rare bird similar to a turkey that comes all the way from Africa.
A family who lived here years ago raised guinea fowl , but when the family moved away years ago – the birds remained.
“Out of a group of guinea fowl, she’s the only one that’s lasted all these years,” Hutcheson said.
According to experts, guinea fowl adapt very well in strange environments. The African birds—members of the pheasant family—can dine on a variety of things including bugs, snakes, worms and even cat food.
“You’ve got to figure she’s a really tough bird that she’s made it on Rainey Street this long,” Hutcheson said.
But lately, Rainey Street is becoming an increasingly hostile environment for Geraldine.
“This neighborhood has just like that—changed into restaurants and bars and high rises,” Hutcheson said.
Heavy traffic, construction equipment and new buildings are replacing the natural trees the fowl once called home.
The community is so concerned about their adopted bird, they have created for Geraldine her own Facebook page.
“We want to bring her to people’s attention so they don’t hit her,” Hutcheson said.
The Rainey Street community hopes that by spreading awareness to area drivers and developers, Geraldine will have many happy years ahead of her.
“Please watch out for her, she is our neighborhood bird,” Hutcheson said. “We talk to her. We love her.”
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