Rooster pecks a niche in neighbours' affections
A rooster who has made his home on the railside verge on Oxford Tce in Epuni has become a bit of a star.
Locals say the rooster adopted the spot by a popular crossing about five weeks ago, and has a growing following of visitors who drop by with food for him.
Bruce Bleuler, known as Blue, lives across the road from the chicken's spot, and says neighbours and visitors are following the rooster's fate closely.
"I hear it about half past four in the morning. It wakes me up, but he's a dag; he's a good looking bird, and he's a right character.
"It's a bit of a talking point in the neighbourhood, and we take it in turns to feed him."
Blue says he has named the rooster Bluey, and if the bird spots him watching from a window, it crows.
It eats from his hand and is partial to cat biscuits, silverbeet, carrots and bread. However, it has a fierce and quick peck for anyone who tries to pat him.
"He's pretty smart, he gave the cat from this house a real good back hook and I've never seen a cat move so fast.
"My cats won't go near him."
Blue has also seen children trying to sneak up on the rooster with sticks, but so far he has easily escaped to the safety of a higher branch.
Epuni retired man Harry McKevitt visits the rooster every day on his walk, and says he is impressed it has lasted this long.
"He seems to be doing fine, he's living a charmed life between the road and the railway."
But does Bluey ever emulate the saying and cross the road?
Mr McKevitt and others we talked to say they have not seen him off his island. Blue says the rooster's normal 20-metre range is along the grass verge and he knows of only one sighting on the other side of the tracks.