Wild Chickens Living Near Crystal City?

by ARLnow.com September 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm 5,980 53 Comments

On a fishing expedition to the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, located between Crystal City and the GW Parkway, local fly fishing guide Rob Snowhite made a surprising discovery: a group of wild chickens that has apparently taken residence in the sanctuary.

Snowhite wrote on his blog this morning that shortly after parking in the Roaches Run parking lot (across from Gravelly Point, the lot is frequented by limo drivers waiting for airport arrivals) an animal control officer arrived on scene and started trying to round up the wily birds, who seemed determined to not be evicted from their South Arlington home. To assist the effort, Snowhite and his fishing buddy got out their nets and joined the chase. After 20 minutes of fruitless effort, the trio gave up — an outcome that was cheered by some bystanders who told the men to leave the chickens alone.

The two fishermen continued on with their fly fishing mission at the sanctuary, marveling at the prospect of wild chickens living near an urban pond but lamenting the unsuccessful chicken chase.

“There won’t be any fresh roast chicken at Ri Ra tonight,” Snowhite quipped.

Photo courtesy Rob Snowhite

  • CW


    Side note – has anyone ever thought of some way to monetize the fact that dozens of taxis use Roaches Run as a 24/7 staging area?

    • MC 703

      And idling their engines endlessly.

    • YellowSubmarine

      Great idea!

  • Narlington

    When do you think the county will put them up in an apartment for free?

    • Z

      After they bulldoze another good bar in Clarendon and put up low-rent housing.

  • Mike Oksmal

    Soon to be some fricassee.

  • Heigh-Ho

    Silly Snowhite.


    IS IT 1968

  • brendan

    have also seen them there on the side near the train tracks. lots of weird stuff in and around that cesspool.

  • meatrocket

    Groundbreaking journalism

  • charlie

    So, animal control is trying to catch and trap and kill birds that are in a (read these next words real slow) — “Waterfowl Sanctuary” —

    some illegals are better than others I suppose.

    • Maria

      I highly doubt they would have been killed.

      • I’m sure the county has a counseling program for wild animals before releasing them in an remote location.

        • charlie

          and i bet the flyers for the sessions are written in English, Spanish and chicken scratch.

        • Maria


    • Charles

      Read these next words even more slowly: Chickens aren’t waterfowl.

    • sinner

      you sound pretty stupid Charlie.
      1.Rooster aren’t waterfowl, Why should they stay at the — “Waterfowl Sanctuary” — ( read the words REAL SLOW) ?
      2. They were right next to a busy parkway.
      3. Animal Control sent them to a Wildlife Rehabber dumb ass.

  • Suburban

    I bet they’re still less annoying than my stupid neighbor’s pet chicken!

    • YellowSubmarine

      I bet they’re less annoying than my neighbors!

  • Chris

    I feel like chicken tonight, like chicken tonight.

  • Mr. Mann

    Headline could’ve been “Cocks Grabbed in S. Arlington.”

  • Howdy

    Keep practicing Joey, and someday you will choke that chicken.

    • Rick

      The spirit of the great white ninja lives on in Howdy

  • JV

    What’s the point in rounding them up? Leave them alone; how are they a threat to anything?

    I’m not interested in the meat, I’m interested in trying wild chicken eggs! To hell with “pastured”! 😛

  • Wayne Kubicki

    “Arlington’s chickens are comin’ home….to roost!”

    Sorry – couldn’t resist.

    Will the adjacent Long Bridge Park construction have an effect on the chickens’ habitat?

    Will the chickens sue the County Board to stop construction?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  • YellowSubmarine

    Another example of Arl Animal Control NOT controlling animals (that don’t need controlling).

    • CrystalMikey

      Wouldn’t this be the NPS and not ARL land?

  • steve85

    Wow this is news. Hopefully this is a joke

    • drax

      You read it. And even took the time to comment.

  • Col. Sanders

    I wondered where the dang things had done got off to!

  • Bemused bystander

    What’s a sanctuary for? As long as the chickens don’t try to cross the road, the NPS should leave them be.

    • Richard Cranium

      But . . . what if they simply HAVE to get to the other side?

  • Michael H.

    Should have hired Rocky Balboa. He’s pretty good at catching them critters.

  • one possible reason to capture them: CAN they survive the winter cold and snow/ice? I doubt it.

    Bet someone dropped them off there at some point to fend for themselves. Who else do hens or chickens, or whatever they are, end up in the middle of a city?

    I don’t want them to suffer. It may be best to capture them and allow them to live in a safe place.

    I also doubt animal control would kill them.

    They are kind of cute – color coordinated red and black!!

    • Mr.Clarendon

      I had the same concern, but then recall that turkey’s make it through the winter around here. I suppose the turkeys are truly wild and know how to survive, but maybe the “chikons” are quick studies…

  • Woof.
  • nerd

    Technically these are feral chickens, not wild.

    • DarkHeart

      Do feral chicken eggs have more or less heart attack cholesterol than wild chickens?

  • Ballstonian

    Pollo Rico Special – Wild Peruvian Chicken

    • Bock Bock


  • Lee-n-Glebe

    I’m still stuck on “local fly fishing guide.” I had no idea Arlington was a fly-fishing mecca!

    • Fish on

      Very active community of fly fishers, and Rob’s an excellent guide. Definately worth spending an hour or two with him.

    • JB

      Ummm, I wouldn’t say a “mecca” but you have the Potomac right in the middle of DC which is great smallmouth fishing (not to mention shad and stripers in season), plus you can get to Harpers Ferry, countless streams in the Shenendoahs, and the eastern shore in 2 hours or less. Throw in a bunch of wealthy yuppies that take up fly fishing to show off to their friends when they go golfing at the Homestead and Nemacolin, and it’s not that surprising there’s an Orvis right in the middle of Clarendon.

  • Mike

    Feel the need to state that I found this item very interesting. Thanks for the story. Not sure why everyone on a blog takes it upon themselves to critique the journalism creds for every post these days.

    It’s an intriguing story about the county which is the subject of the blog. Grow up, act like an adult, and skip the article titled “Wild Chickens Living Near Crystal City?” if you don’t want to read about wild chickens living near crystal city. It’s not like they surprised you with the subject matter.

    • Banksy

      My thoughts exactly. I loved this story!

  • V Dizzle

    Pretty certain there is no such thing as a “wild” chicken. They look like domesticated chickens (don’t believe the same species exists in the wild, just like there are no wild golden retreivers)..so wouldn’t they be either ferral chickens or simply misplaced chickens???

    • V Dizzle

      I mean “feral” and “retrievers”.

    • Charles

      You are correct, ma’am.

      • V Dizzle

        Cool, but I prefer Senator F-Nut. Thanks.

  • Cassandra

    Run, Chickens, Run!!

  • Clay Gottschall

    I saw a chicken riding my bike through LBJ grove last night.

  • charvakan

    With all the foxes in Arlington these days, I’m surprised those chickens are living there. Can we release some goats too? I suppose bison are out of the question.


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