Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday's Story - The Roadrunner And The Deer

I have read several books in the past month, including these that I will review soon: River Town, A Guide to the Birds of East Africa, Zeitoun, and Brother I'm Dying.  I will get to them soon, but with all that's going on I haven't been able to concentrate on the books and writing a review. So, I thought I would mix up Wednesdays with a new feature: Animal stories, wild or tame, written by me in the past few years. So I will post a Wednesday's Story when I don't have a review ready. I hope you will enjoy them.

I wrote this story about a roadrunner couple that lived here in 2008 and an encounter one of them had with a deer.


This past spring, a roadrunner and his mate took up residence on our ranch in the desert mountains of California. The male would come at dinner time and parade outside our dining room window, catching bugs, worms, snakes and lizards. 

Do you see the snake in his beak?

One day, I heard a strange noise and as I looked out the window, there was the road runner on top of our old Mustang with a huge desert toad in his mouth. It seemed impossible that he could have caught this large toad that he proudly displayed by jumping around on the hood of the car, turning his neck this way and that. When he spotted me, he took off across the field with what must have been a pretty heavy catch in his beak.

In July, there was a large forest fire to the north of us and in the weeks following, several deer came to the ranch. 

One day, three bucks appeared and slowly walked around the yard, browsing as they went along. 

I got my camera and when I looked out the window, I saw the roadrunner just as it spotted the deer. The roadrunner gave the deer the evil eye and puffed itself up. 

Two bucks were further up the hillside, 

but one was still close by. 

The road runner puffed itself up some more. She jumped around in place for a few seconds, then she decided it was time to get rid of these intruders and made her move: "Who are you big critters and what do you think you are doing in my yard? Don’t think you can intimidate me," she seemed to be saying to herself.  "I’ll pick the one with the smallest horns and see if I can't chase him away!" 

The roadrunner jumped closer and closer to the deer, but it paid her no attention at first and kept on browsing. 

When the roadrunner reached the deer, she began to hop around it in a circle, very close to the much larger animal.

Looking slightly annoyed, the deer decided he better get out of there and trotted off to catch up with the two bucks that had walked ahead. 

The roadrunner hopped around the deer one last time, as if to make sure it was leaving, then she proudly ran away toward her home behind the field.

I was so intent on watching this amazing dance that I forgot to take pictures. And I was hanging out my dining room window trying to see it all. But it is a true story of an interesting  interaction in the animal world and one that I was fortunate to observe.


  1. That road runner must have been very pleased with herself. :)

  2. It is interesting to see how the animals interact with one another. That roadrunner is a pip, wish we had them here!

  3. I've been in too much pain to come to the computer, these last days. I miss visiting with my sweet friends.

    I just loved the story about the roadrunner and the deer! I wish a couple of them would nest around our yard. They would not lack for snakes to eat.

    Love ya!

  4. So many times I think "I wish I had my camera!". But sometimes its better to just live the moment & remember it. It so great you were able to see it happen!

  5. Neat post. I've never seen a real one but have always liked Roadrunners.

  6. I enjoy your book reviews but also I enjoyed your animal story about the roadrunner and deer. I never would have thought that a roadrunner would be so aggressive. Keep these stories coming.

  7. What a delightful story and some great photos. I've never seen a roadrunner in person or in a photo before.

  8. I love the photos....those deers are so pretty...

  9. I have roadrunners in my yard also and I just love them. I think they are really interesting to watch. Very good story about how animals interact.

  10. That is amazing! I have never seen a real roadrunner before. Those are great pictures - what amazing wildlife you have out there surrounding you!

  11. Hey, Inger!-just catching up a little with you. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.
    What a great sory, and how fortunate you are to have these gorgeous animals find their way to your doorstep. i had never seen a roadrunner in real life before.

  12. How fortunate you were to catch all that with the camera, Inger. I've never seen a Road Runner (other than in cartoons) and they really are very special, aren't they?...:)JP

  13. Brave little roadrunner! She showed those deer! I wonder if she had a nest nearby? Thank you for the lovely story. It's one I will remember.

  14. Loved reading this! Must have been quite a spectacle to see. Also would have loved to see a photo of the roadrunner with that frog...ha.

    We get some around here but I haven't seen one (roadrunner) in a long time. I enjoy watching the quail a lot...

  15. That is so cool. Animal behavior is so amazing to me. Since we don’t have road runners here it is really neat to see these. Cute deer too :)

  16. We spotted mountain goats on our walk last weekend... I'll post a pic of that, but I do long to see a deer again.

  17. How cool is that?! I always love watching wildlife outside out windows. Love country living.

  18. now I love that kind of bird......weird but a cracking looking thing...... I would pay to have a few of them on my field rather than the bloody hundred starlings I now have!

  19. What a sweet and funny story! I would love to see a real Roadrunner some time. Watching animal interaction is interesting ... those rare times it happens.
    The other day I saw a deer watching a big dog. The dog was on a leash, and I think the deer understood that -- otherwise it would have run away, one would think. Instead, it was gazing at the dog, like it was mesmerized...


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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