Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beep! Beep!

 Related to the Cuckoo family, the Roadrunner is a cool find in the desert southwest.  For birders and tourists, Roadrunners are an icon of the Sonoran desert.
They are fast and beautiful creatures.  The above pic is of a female.  Some of you may remember in your childhood the stories of the Wile E Coyote and the Roadrunner(Beep Beep!).  Now having this background information made me think about how accurate the image of the Roadrunner from the cartoon is to the real thing.  And the most I could come up with is the tuft of feathers on the top of her head.  Notice how it can move up or down?  The photos in this post demonstrate her curiosity and intelligence.  Watch how it will be at the side of her head at times.
Contrary to belief,  Roadrunners can actually fly, but they prefer to well.....run.:)
Roadrunners(or in Spanish "Correcaminos") remind me more of a tiny Velociraptor from Jurassic Park.  And did you know?  They have found in the Gobi Desert another variety of dinosaur?  Ones that had colorful feathers? Scientists are now saying that there were two kinds of dinosaurs....ones with feathers and others without.  We kind of thought that already, but now they have found evidence to support that theory. I made an interesting trip and wrote a special post for this topic at the end of the month. Fascinating stuff.
Roadrunners are quick enough to catch and eat rattlesnakes. Other food includes insects and lizards.
The Roadrunner’s nasal gland eliminates excess salt, instead of using the urinary tract like most birds.
Roadrunners prefer walking or running and attain speeds up to 17 mph. hour.  Like a hawk, falcon, eagle, owl, or raven, the Roadrunner is also considered a bird of prey. 
On a final note, I am looking forward to my upcoming trip to "Bird Island" in Northern Mexico.  The trip is confirmed for this Saturday.  Now if only the week would move a little faster:) More tomorrow...




26 comments:

  1. You are right about some of the accuracy of that Warner Bros Cartoon character. That spitting thing the cartoon bird did with his tongue is exactly the mechanical things Roadrunners do for real with that coarse spitting sound.

    And they are good fliers and fast too. Mostly quick initial flaps and then long glides. Quail are almost the same with this flying strategy. They love and prefer the ground over flying any day. Flying is more for getaways.

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  2. Great pics, Chris. We actually have a roadrunner here in East Texas who lives a couple miles down the road from us.

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  3. He is a funny looking fellow, but cute and mischievous looking. R. I have left you a comment on that cactus.

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  4. More wonderful photos - what a cute bird and you are right it does look as though it could have stepped straight out of Jurassic Park.

    Enjoy your trip to "Bird Island" - sounds like an exciting experience lies in wait.

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  5. I always learn so much when I come here. I didn't know they could fly! They are a neat bird. These close ups are fantastic.

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  6. Difficile de faire mieux que ta chronique consacrée à cet oiseau curieux et sympathique qui me rappelle Woody Wood packer, héros de dessin animé.

    Roger

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  7. I love seeing the roadrunners here. Magpie has one that lives out back of her house. I saw a fat one in the parking lot of a pizza joint a few weeks back. I'm guessing he likes the dough!

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  8. i love these birds. saw one cross the road in front of me just yesterday. :)

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  9. I love our Roadrunners! Velociraptor is right; I'm glad they're not people sized. They're colorful and deadly predators. Even though they're not uncommon, it' still jaw-dropping every time I see one.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  10. The are fast and inquisitive for sure. I see hanging in the same place, but never close enough for good photos like these.

    Have fun in Mexico.

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  11. Hello! What a wonderful photos!

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  12. Smart set of photo's Chris.........although as a kid i always wanted the coyote to get the Roadrunner Beep beep!!

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  13. I understand, we have the same quarantine arrangement in Australia. I hope you find this species and I am truly sorry not to be able to provide its name. It is actually very easy to grow,it has also tiny white flowers all over in its season.

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    1. It's no stress. I hope you don't mind but I'm actually going to show your picture to someone at our Tohono Chul desert authorities and there are some serious cacti experts there. I think I should be able to locate it within this area. I'm always looking for exotics to place on display at our gardens here. I understand the quarantine, but for serious botanical people like ourselves, it can be frustrating when we want to share our efforts. If it wasn't for my friend in NZ and our love of plants, I wouldn't have known about the quarantines. I once brought in seeds from Europe and they were confiscated:( But I understand better now why the rules are in place.

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  14. those are the coolest roadrunner pictures!! and YES, every time i see one...well, we don't see them in florida...but when i see pictures, like yours...i can't help but think of the old cartoons...hahahaaa.

    fantastic shots!! BeeP BeeP back at ya!

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  15. Ten ptak jest niesamowity i śliczny. Ciekawie musi wyglądać jak szybko biegnie.Zdjęcia są cudowne. Pozdrawiam.*** This bird is amazing and beautiful. Interesting must look how fast it ran. The pictures are wonderful. Yours.

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  16. That's a winner, the Roadrunner, beep beep, is a great photos. My favourites are numbers 2 & 6 superb.

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  17. Thank you for the wonderful Roadrunner pictures, and really enjoyed learning a bit more about it.

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  18. The photos are incredible...meep! I still want to see just how large of a snake the ones in the Chihuahuan Desert can kill and eat...not sadistic, just education!! They have some unique personalities for sure; the 1st and 2nd to last shots say it all.

    Writing from Phoenix, have not seen one roadrunner, but Gambel Quail and Curve Bill Thrasher make up for it. A month further along here, for sure!

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  19. A friend of mine has seen a road runner in southern KS. They are so interesting. I can't imagine them eating a rattlesnake.

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  20. How cool! I've only ever seen one, and he was running across the road.

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  21. Great post, love to see the photos of the beautiful Roadrunner.
    I remember the cartoon series.

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  22. Gorgeous shots!! I've seen a roadrunner exactly once, when I was a kid on one of our trips out west. They are fascinating birds.

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  23. Hi Chris, I look forward to learning more about the road runner. All I know so far is what I learned from what I think was a Walt Disney cartoon in my childhood. I never really thought about whether it was real!

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Thanks for stopping by!