Geococcyx californianus, aka Badass!

It’s a difficult, and ultimately pointless, exercise to pick a favorite from the local avian wildlife but I will say I’m awfully fond of the roadrunner. Look at him! Isn’t he a magnificent creature?

As some of you may know, roadrunners are in the cuckoo family. The Peterson’s entry begins thusly:

The cuckoo that runs (tracks show two toes forward, two backward). Unique; slender, heavily streaked, with a long maneuverable, white-tipped tail, shaggy crest, strong legs.

Even though the photo leaves something to be desired, it’s the best I’ve yet achieved, after many failed attempts to get a good shot of one of these guys. Of course it would help if I had a better camera with a longer lens. I stalked this guy on foot for quite a while. He flew up into trees and skipped around and hid behind cactus, peeking out to see if I’d left yet. After a while, he ran off, I got back in my car and drove down the road, then doubled back and caught him returning to the spot he’d been in when I interrupted him.

I’m waiting for my ACME telephoto lens and birdseed to arrive any day now and when it does, watch out!

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3 Responses

  1. I enjoy roadrunners too. I have a regular weekly hike in So. Cal. and see ’em often, but was really delighted when I sighted one in a scrubby tree by the trail eating a lizard.
    I think its a nice photo of a great looking roadrunner. The beautiful feathers and face colors are so clear!
    Love the “ACME” lens! Hope it doesn’t fall on you somehow.

  2. Thanks, jk.

    I’m also waiting on my fake-railroad-tunnel-in-the-side-of-a-mountain paint kit.

  3. I sent my love via email so don’t go complainin about the lack of love for your bird. That’s really the first picture I’d ever seen of the critter. It does kind of look like the cartoon.

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