Beware of Roadrunner?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kellie Fitzgerald - Chiricahua Real Estate

I know, some of you are probably wondering where, exactly, I show property with all my "animal-related" posts...But, seriously, take a look at this little guy.    Yes, he's on a kitchen counter.    My buyers and I were taking another look at this property when this roadrunner showed up at the back door literally begging for lunch.    My buyer opened the door and this little guy just walked right in and hopped up on the counter like that's just where he was supposed to be.     Turns out, he was right.   The sellers have been feeding him (or her?) hamburger meat and, being no "bird-brain" this roadrunner has just kept on coming back.

My buyers took pictures because otherwise no one would believe it!   So, here's the proof.

 

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Rainmaker
2,554,909
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Kellie - I must tell you that is the first picture of an actual Road Runner that I have seen.  Before this, I thought they were only a cartoon character:-)

Jun 09, 2009 10:19 AM #1
Rainer
17,228
Kellie Fitzgerald
Kellie Fitzgerald - Chiricahua Real Estate - Pearce, AZ

Thanks for your comment, Myrl.   Roadrunners are really very common out here and I see them all the time, usually just not this "up close and personal."

Jun 09, 2009 10:33 AM #2
Ambassador
557,018
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

LOL...

You're right Kellie. I would not have believed it without the image. So tell me, why do they call them RoadRunners?

TLW...ROAR!

Jun 09, 2009 11:54 PM #3
Rainer
17,228
Kellie Fitzgerald
Kellie Fitzgerald - Chiricahua Real Estate - Pearce, AZ

TLW, Thanks for your comment...I believe they call them roadrunners because they typically will run right down the road...or trail or path or whatever clear spot there is to run down.   They're really very interesting birds, they leave tracks that look like "X's".   Someone just told me they are members of the "cuckoo" family.   Maybe that's why they run down the roads...they're "cuckoo?"

Jun 10, 2009 02:28 AM #4
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

That one is the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus). They are known to be opportunistic birds, but that is taking opportunism to a whole other level.

I see your comment above mine, and, yes, they are members of the Cuckoo family.

Jun 20, 2009 10:29 PM #5
Rainer
26,570
DriveBuy Technologies
DriveBuy Technologies - Austin, TX

Wow, that's awesome! I've never seen a real one before. Here in Central Texas, Roadrunner is just synonymous with cable companies & bad customer service. :)

 

twitter / Ian_at_DriveBuy

Jul 02, 2009 08:49 AM #6
Rainer
17,228
Kellie Fitzgerald
Kellie Fitzgerald - Chiricahua Real Estate - Pearce, AZ

Hi Ian, thanks for commenting!   By the way, I remember when Anderson Lane was a dirt road past Burnet Road...AND I remember when people used to go hunting in the northwest hills area.  In fact, Austin didn't even have many freeways, except for I-35....bet all that gives you a chuckle!

Jul 02, 2009 09:05 AM #7
Anonymous
Joel in TX

Wow.  Nice story and pic.  I've basically lived in 2 locations,  both in Texas in my 56 plus years.  Both locations, one in the south TX brush country and currently in NE TX piney woods and in both locations roadrunners are native to the areas.  I've lived around them and observed them all my life and they have become my favorite bird.  They are carnivorous eating meat and live things,  not seed,  and they are also very tough creatures.  They kill and eat snakes,  yes even rattlesnakes,  as well as lizards, frogs, various insects and such.  Many years ago a friend of mine, while on his South TX brush country ranch,  actually got to witness an adult roadrunner battling a rattlesnake that my friend stated was approx. 18" long.  He stated that the roadrunner would walk up to the coiled rattlesnake with chest out and wings spread widely.  The roadrunner would move his wing tips towards the rattler as a target and when the ratter would strike at the feathers of the wing the quick of foot roadrunner would quickly move closer in and give several hard quick pecks to the ratters eyes and head as he was extended and not in the coiled/strike position.  All the while, as this went on for several minutes, the rattler was attempting to crawl away but the determined roadrunner would quickly position himself in front of the snake.  My friend watched the whole encounter repeating itself over and over and then went on about his never knowing the outcome of the natural boxing match.  I later read that when when the snakes become tired and sluggish and are blinded from losing their eyesight the roadrunner will then move in and latch on to the snakes neck with their strong long beaks and asphyxiate them causing their death.  The harvest is then enjoyed by the roadrunner and their mate and/or taken back to their nest to feed their young.  Roadrunners live on the ground running or walking while hunting for food all their lives but they do take flight but only when they are threatened by humans, dogs, bobcats etc...And the way they take flight is some what unusual.  They are very alert birds and are always aware of their enviroment and predators in the area.  When something is after them they will run for several yards,  build up speed and then use their strong legs to jump up into the air with 2 or 3 quick flaps of their wings to gain height.  The speed they have gathered by running propels them forward and then they will soar with wings spread usually no more than 15' off the ground and according to the contour of the land in the direction they are traveling I have seen them travel up to half a football field especially if they are flying over the contour of land that is downhill.  They then litterally hit the ground running for several more yards and if necessary will repeat the process.  But usually once they have done this they have put enough distance in between themselves and whatever is chasing them so that their running speed is plenty to easily escape.  They are weary of humans but they have come in to our yards to hunt in the short grasslands from mowing eating and harvesting whatever they find alive on the ground which is easy hunting grounds made possible from the lawn mower.  They also visit the bird baths and dog watering bowls around the house and if there is a drought going on they will make these items their daily watering holes.  When there is a pair in the area with a nest nearby I usually try to watch every day to observe their interesting life styles.  Once there was one in our yard hunting near our large metal roof carport.  Our dogs saw it and took off after him.  The roadrunner already knew the dogs and myself were in the area so when the dogs threatened him he leaped and flapped to the top of the carport and then ran the length of the carport gaining speed and then launched himself from the back side of the carport soaring with wings spread towards the west over the top of our hay barn and over several small trees and our barbed wire fence and finally landed,  feet running about 20 yards out in the meadow and about 40 yards from where he initially left the ground in front of our carport.  This was all done very quickly and my poor inexperienced dogs only had time to run to the backside of the carport with their heads raised waiting for the bird to appear.  They never saw and little did they know that the roadrunner by that time was approx. 50 yards away running to the west at top speed in the opposite direction of where the dogs were looking for him to the east.  They never figured it out with confused/alert looks on their faces and the bird seemed to have just vanished by magic.  As you can see,  they are interesting birds to observe.

Jun 22, 2013 04:37 AM #8
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