The Hulabaloo is a large flightless bird native to Java and surrounding islands. Its distinctive loud whooping call is often heard during mating season (from January to late November), and continues throughout the night, and a large portion of the day.
The Hulabaloo is drawn to areas populated by humans to scavenge on refuse. It breeds throughout the year, and produces clutches of up to 28 chicks at a time.
The Hulabaloo was hunted for sport almost since the population of Java in 1672. The birds, having previously had no natural predator were easy game (the preferred method of hunting to gather as many of them as possible in one place and drop a heavy rock onto them).
This was for a time balanced by the animals prodigious breeding, but as the human population exploded, the number of birds dwindled, and was thought to be extinct at the turn of the century.
Quite why the bird was such popular game is not clearly understood, as the meat tastes very bitter and salty, and has a chewy, chalky texture. There is one known recipe for the meat, and it involves boiling the eat for several days.
In the early 90's the bird was re-introduced to the island where it enjoyed a protected status as an endangered species, and in just a few years was thriving once more. Interestingly, the fates of the hullabaloo and the javan human population seem to be inextricably linked, as since the re-introduction, the human population has dwindled to just 37 people.
All content copyright Tom Crowley