Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Roadrunner

and his wife.


 When I sat outside yesterday morning, suddenly a chorus of beeping noises broke out all over my yard. The sentinel ground squirrels were raising the alarm and I thought a coytote was on the way to drink some water from my leaky faucet, which I haven't yet shut off. 

No, it was the roadrunner and his wife. I didn't have my phone so this is an old picture. Of the wife. He's much flashier, of course, and I looked for his picture, but couldn't find it. 

Curious as to why the squirrels were concerned with two  birds, I asked Google. 

This is what I learned:

Greater Roadrunner Feeding Her Babies Newborn Groundsquirrels

You may not want to watch it, but everyone has to eat and nature can look cruel to us humans. 

But as D. H. Lawrence said: "I've never seen a wild thing sorry for itself." 

When we first moved here, we had a large cottonwood tree in our front yard and I actually saw a roadrunner couple raid a bird's nest. I believe I interfered with nature and chased them away. 

Closeup, they are intimidating birds with their very large and dangerous looking beaks. 

They have several roadrunner videos you can watch on youtube. I read one story, where a naturalist was talking about the fact that he had never seen a roadrunner, and really hoped to be able to encounter one some day. 

That made me feel so lucky to have my resident couple. 

 Yesterday was my best day for watching animals. 

I saw: One very skinny coyote, who did not look well; the road runner and his wife; many, many ground squirrels; ravens, and a variety of small birds; a covey (flock) of California quail; about five Jack rabbits (hares in Europe); a couple of cottontail rabbits; and one fence lizard. 

Some of these I saw because I was outside, several through my windows and then outside as I walked out to watch them. 

No luck with taking pictures.

I enjoyed my day and felt better after seeing so many critters that apparently found food, where I could see absolutely nothing worth eating. And I mean for wild animals to eat. 











 

24 comments:

  1. Hello,
    The Roadrunner is one of my favorite birds. I was lucky to see some during a trip to New Mexico years ago. The sighting itself would have made me happy. I would love to see the Quail too. Take care, enjoy your weekend!

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  2. What an amazing day in nature. Fir years I had no idea roadrunners were real birds -- they seemed so unlikely I thought they were imagined by cartoonists. It's great to have their real existence confirmed.

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  3. Hi Inger - lovely post ... they sound somewhat different from what I'd realised. But they're wild and must live their lives ... as you say. Quail are delightful ... so pleased you had such a happy day with memories to write for us - all the best - Hilary

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  4. i would love to see all that you saw yesterday.. wow, i am only seeing gnats and skeeters and loud mouth crows... thank the Lord no views of racoons. i have never seen a roadrunner other than the cartoon one

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  5. Hi Inger, I'm glad that you delight in viewing so many wild critters outside your home. I've never seen a roadrunner except in cartoons.

    This week I found tracks of a huge moose in the tilled garden where my potatoes are growing at the farm. I've never seen such huge hoof prints. They were much bigger than the hoof prints of big Holstein cows. I worked in the garden till almost 9:00pm and kept uneasily looking around in case it would return.

    I admire how you feel easy around those wild creatures. I prefer keeping my distance.

    Enjoy the weekend.
    Hugs, Julia

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    1. When I was a kid, we sometimes had moose in our garden in a Stockholm suburb. That wouldn't happen now with traffice and most woods and fields built up. But I remember the moose very well.

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  6. Boy did this take me back. I had a resident pair when I moved here and was delighted with them. Then one day I heard a ruckus under my bird feeder and ran out to see the RR had a red winged blackbird in his mouth and was slamming him repeatedly into the ground. When I ran out to rescue (interfere with nature) the bird, she took off for the back of my property with the wounded bird in her beak where a hawk almost got them both. I love nature and know they have to eat, just hate to watch it.
    Enjoy your abundance of nature.

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    1. I've read that the RR kill rattlesnakes by slamming their heads against rocks. Nature is really amazing.

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  7. We see many of the same critters you mention in our corner of the desert, including roadrunner. I'm worried about them with the extreme heat coming. Nice of you not to fix your leaky faucet!

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  8. That's a much better picture than I've been able to snap of "our" roadrunner! And of the ones that hang around the BBQ place we like. Yes, we all must eat. I was exclaiming, "Oh no, how horrible, that poor lizard" when I saw a roadrunner with a little lizard hanging from its beak. And then realized I was eating a turkey sandwich and not giving much thought to the "poor turkey" I was eating!!!

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  9. Love it when I spot a road runner. For the first time , in the 45 years we've lived on our property, we saw a California scrub blue jay at our woodpecker feeder this spring. We were so excited until we read they eat smaller birds and hummingbirds! Patty Mc

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  10. You have a great variety, down here we have quail, and to see a family run along is such fun, a few years ago we were camping in a very remote area and there were two families, one had so many little ones, they raced across the rough grass into the bush, little chirps all the time.

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    1. Our quail can have up to 25 offspring. In this extreme drought, there are very few coming through. Nature is suffering, there is no doubt about it.

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  11. The sighting is the neatest part of the experience of course. We don't often get photos of the things we see either. But I like to write down what we see. My hubby saw a coyote last week in a retention pond that was dry and grassy. The Roadrunner is such a handsome bird and how amazing to see a couple! I haven't seen one in years. BEEP BEEP! heehee! Hugs!

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  12. you get the opportunity to see a lot more wildlife than I see up here. I love seeing quails who use to visit the yard years ago but i only saw them a few times up here in the mountains when i first moved in - the mom and her kids were crossing the deck and i actually got a few photos of them. Since then I have seen them but then we started getting a lot of feral cats in the neighborhood.

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  13. Your post reminded me of seeing roadrunners and green jays during a trip along Texas' southern border. You live in a lively locale!

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  14. WOW, how special! I have never ever seen a real live roadrunner. I have always wanted to, remember the Roadrunner cartoons? I know they are such big and impressive birds, and can quickly dispatch snakes. But I did not know they eat baby squirrels!

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  15. I've never seen a roadrunner. What a treat to have then in your yard.

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  16. I remember reading once that
    Nature is harsh but not cruel. cruelty implies intent.
    only Man seems to be cruel.
    it has helped me accept this world of eat and/or be eaten!

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  17. Some years we have roadrunners; some not. They usually take up residence around the rows of rolled-up hay bales. They seem to enjoy strutting on the tops of them. You did have a great day seeing so many wild critters.

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  18. I'm pretty sure we don't have roadrunners in this area. Good thing because I see enough "nature" with the hawks getting the doves and songbirds around here!

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  19. Dear Inger, thank you for introducing me to the roadrunner! There's so much of nature that I've never seen and know nothing about. How wonderful for you to live so close to the wonders that abound. Peace.

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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