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RALPH THE ROADRUNNER!


RALPH THE ROADRUNNER!

This roadrunner is an almost daily visitor to my yard so I decided to name him Ralph!
The adult (like Ralph) has a bushy crest and long, thick, dark bill. It has a long, dark tail, a dark head and back, and is blue on the front of the neck and on the belly. Roadrunners have 4 toes on each zygodactyl foot; two face forward, and two face backward.

The name "roadrunner" comes from the bird's habit of racing down roads in front of moving vehicles and then darting to safety in the brush. They are brown in color and has pale gold spots.
Habitat
The breeding habitat is desert and shrubby country in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
Behavior
Greater Roadrunner on the run. The Greater Roadrunner nests on a platform of sticks low in a cactus or a bush and lays 3–6 eggs, which hatch in 20 days. The chicks fledge in another 18 days. Pairs may occasionally rear a second brood.
Greater Roadrunners measure 61 cm (2.00 ft) in length, about half of which is tail. They have long, wobbly legs and a slender, pointed bill. The upper body is mostly brown with black streaks and sometimes pink spots. The neck and upper breast are white or pale brown with dark brown streaks, and the belly is white. A crest of brown feathers sticks up on the head, and a bare patch of orange and blue skin lies behind each eye; the blue is replaced by white in adult males (except the blue adjacent to the eye), and the orange (to the rear) is often hidden by feathers.
This bird walks around rapidly, running down prey. It mainly feeds on insects, fruit and seeds with the addition of small reptiles, small rodents, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, small birds, their eggs, and carrion, including road kills. It kills larger prey with a blow from the beak—hitting the base of the neck of small mammals—or by holding it in the beak and beating it against a rock. Two roadrunners sometimes attack a relatively big snake cooperatively.
Although capable of weak flight, it spends most of its time on the ground, and can run at speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h).[8] Cases where roadrunners have run as fast as 26 mph (42 km/h) have been reported.
State bird
The Greater Roadrunner is the state bird of New Mexico.
Cultural references
Some Pueblo Indian tribes, such as the Hopi, believed that the Roadrunner provided protection against evil spirits. In Mexico, some said it brought babies, as the White Stork was said to in Europe. Some Anglo frontier people believed roadrunners led lost people to trails.
The Greater Roadrunner is the basis for the cartoon character Road Runner, a bird who uses his speed and cunning to outmaneuver his enemy, Wile E. Coyote, despite the fact that real coyotes are faster than roadrunners (43 mph vs 26 mph). Rudolfo Anaya's book, "Roadrunner's Dance," details the creation of the Roadrunner character.



Comments on this photo

bjs
Bjs
 

Great story and Picture we missed you ,been a long time !
B

9 Mar, 2014

 

Very handsome bird and so good he is a regular visitor. Good to hear from you again :)

10 Mar, 2014

 

Hello Hello! I have missed being on here. Great to hear from familiar "faces"! Thanks for your comments!

10 Mar, 2014

 

Thank you for the fine descrition and photo. I didn't know much about roadrunners until I read your post. thanks

14 Mar, 2014

 

Thanks for your comment Bathgate. A lot of people are familiar only with the cartoon character!!

15 Mar, 2014

 

Yeh! That sounds about right, but Looney Tunes can only teach so much, LOL!

15 Mar, 2014

 

Oh I love the cartoon character...but it's nice to learn about the real bird. Imagine...leading lost people to pathways!? Sorry for the silly question...but does it beep? ;-)

15 Mar, 2014

 

It's sound is nothing like a beep Lori!! lol

22 Mar, 2014

 

oh dear...another childhood myth...pooof! lol.

22 Mar, 2014

 

wow what a lovely bird

20 Mar, 2021



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