aka "Californian Earth-cuckoo"
Much to my delight, during my recent visit
to my N. Texas 'hometown',
I came across this fellow!
The roadrunner is a terrestrial cuckoo.
I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't realize it was in the cuckoo family.
I thought I'd never seen a cuckoo before.
Adopted as the state bird of New Mexico in 1949,
it is often referred to as the "Chaparral Bird",
a bird of desert and scrub, from Arkansas
south and west to California.
In Spanish, it is called "El Correcaminos".
A very clumsy flyer, the roadrunner much prefers to run,
and has been clocked at speeds of 15 mph! They eat lizards,
snakes, mice, insects, and yucky scopions
- lots of protein to fuel their long, spindly legs..
It's interesting to note that John James Audubon,
(1785 - 1851), was not familiar
with the roadrunner during his lifetime.
Approximately 22 inches long,
the roadrunner is listed as 'of least concern',
yet I hadn't seen one since childhood,
in the plains of the TX panhandle.