A Memorial Day mystery unfolded Monday morning in Anchorage, when a homeowner near the Delaney Park Strip got an unusual wake-up call.

Elliott Dennis was fast asleep when he heard what he thought might be a loud rooster crowing close to 4 a.m.

"I wasn't even sure it was a rooster crow because the crow is not the same tenor as I remember as a child," Dennis said. "It was very loud."

When he went outside to look later that morning, as the Park Strip hosted Anchorage's main Memorial Day ceremony, he found something else he didn't remember from his childhood.

A pair of roosters were huddled in his bushes bearing distinctly colorful feathers. Upon closer investigation, it turned out the roosters had been painted red, white and blue.

Dennis said he had no idea where the mystery chickens came from, or how they ended up in his yard. No one in the vicinity, to his knowledge, raises chickens.

"It appears we have some stray chickens in the neighborhood unattached to any neighbors," Dennis said.

He also had no clue why someone would want to paint a chicken even if the colors were in line with Memorial Day.

As Dennis was expressing his dismay two other people came by to photograph the chickens. Nancy Mattson was one of them.

"I think they're kind of cute -- very patriotic chickens," said Mattson.

But it wasn't long before the chickens seemed to have enough of the attention. They got up and marched off.

Where they headed was a mystery too.

Contact reporter Lauren Maxwell by email.

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