High Temperature: 89F Low Temperature: 62F Sunrise: 6:51 am Sunset: 8:06 pm Humidity: 51% Wind: ese 3 mph Chance of Rain: 10%
As I was performing my thrice-weekly penance (strength-training) in our garage cum gym/office/dogs' lounge, a brisk and inquisitive visitor rushed onto the concrete just in front of the sliding glass doors. He cocked his head to the side, looked up, cocked it to the other side, then back down. He took a few more hurried steps, cocked his head to the side, looked up, then back down. He repeated this ritual several more times.
It was the closest I'd ever come to a Greater Roadrunner and I couldn't figure out what had piqued his interest enough to bring him so near to the house. What a funny way of moving: with great speed followed by abrupt stops. Roadrunners have very long legs, absurdly long and stiff tail feathers (that they twitch up and down), and tufts of feathers on the top of their small, slim heads. Add in the beady eyes and the whole affect is quite comical. No wonder the creature inspired a crafty cartoon character.
There is a reason why they're not called road flyers. Roadrunners prefer to run rather than fly, though will do so in short bursts when threatened. They will eat just about anything that will fit into their mouths - including hummingbirds, which is what I think drew our visitor. We have a feeder attached to one of the windows and often the tiny birds perch on a tomato cage sitting nearby. Roadrunners live year-round in Oklahoma and like to use existing paths and roads (explaining why we have often seen them dashing across or along them) to patrol their territories. They mate for life, and build their nests low to the ground with sticks, feathers, and sometimes cow dung.
Just as I was about to get my camera to see if I could get a good shot through the window. Ike noted my movement and got out of his bed to see what I was fussing about. Of course, he immediately started barking like mad, indignant that this interloper had dared get so close. Off went the strange bird, speeding away on its stilt-like legs, zig-zagging across the driveway, scooting under the fence and into the deep grass of the pasture. No hummingbird for lunch today.