They aren’t called roadrunners for nothing. Truthfully, every time I’ve seen one they’ve been running down a road. My husband once saw one running around in a National Park near Albuquerque, but I didn’t personally witness this. Besides, “parkrunners” just doesn’t have the same appeal (or alliteration).
A couple days ago we were heading for Albuquerque and a roadrunner ran right in front of our car before sailing gracefully (and pretty close to the ground) after he made it across. So they can glide kind of like a turkey. And since I’ve never seen roadrunner roadkill, I’d wager they have a pretty good record on beating the cars.
Whether coyotes ever get the better of them I couldn’t say. But we do have coyotes in our midst so it’s not impossible. But from the looks of them they don’t have a lot of meat on their bones so I bet they’re not too worthwhile a catch.
Roadrunners in Downtown Albuquerque?
Last weekend we were in Albuquerque and I had to blink twice to make sure what I saw was what I was really seeing. A roadrunner hanging out in a strip mall! Yes, right in the middle of Albuquerque. One of my friends tells me he sees them in Albuquerque quite often. Funny, that.
One of our fellow “country bumpkin” artist buddies told us he lost a small population of horned lizards to a predatory roadrunner one season. When the roadrunner moved on, the lizards moved back onto his property. They are good hunters, but I like my lizards so hopefully the roadrunners will stay on the roads and off our twenty acres!
A Few Cool Roadrunner Facts:
- They belong to the cuckoo family
- They can measure up to 24 inches tail to beak
- They can weigh as little as 8 ounces and as much as 24 ounces
- They can run up to 20 mph!
- It is believed that roadrunners mate for life
- They are the state bird of New Mexico (I love that!)
- They can eat venomous snakes (also a cool fact)
Roadrunners are long-lived for wild birds…up to eight years. I imagine one could get kind of attached to a roadrunner in the area and get to know him or her after a few years.
Well, another interesting critter in New Mexico. You just never know what you might “run” into here. (Unintended pun, but I kind of like it.)
Have you ever seen a roadrunner, and if so, where?