Why we love Roadrunners!

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Posted on September 27, 2021 by Laura Lucky

The roadrunner is a large, slender, black-brown and white-streaked ground bird with a distinctive head crest. It has long legs, strong feet, an oversized dark bill, and is about 2 ft in length. The tail is broad with white tips on the three outer tail feathers. 

Laura: The Roadrunner is my favorite desert animal for a couple reasons. First the roadrunner is an opportunistic omnivore. Its diet normally consists of insects, small reptiles (snakes & rattlesnakes), rodents and other small mammals, spiders (including tarantulas), and scorpions. These are all animals that I prefer not to have in my yard so I see the roadrunner as a common ally of mine!

Matt: The roadrunner couples defend a territory of about 8,000 SF in size. The male is more territorial, calling out to warn competitors, and does not hesitate to physically push the intruders out of his territory. That means, if you have a roadrunner in your neighborhood that you consistently see, they are more than likely the same bird. We have given our neighborly roadrunners nicknames and enjoy seeing them. They are fearless and are not scared or shy of humans – so don’t get to close!

Lisa: Fun fact! The Hopi and other Pueblo tribes believed that roadrunners were medicine birds and could protect against evil spirits. Their unusual X-shaped footprints are used as sacred symbols to ward off evil in many Pueblo tribes—partially because they invoke the protective power of the roadrunners themselves, and partially because the X shape of the tracks conceals which direction the bird is headed (thus throwing malignant spirits off track.)

There’s a lot to love about the roadrunners’ unique history, fearless mentality, extremely quick on their feet, and a territorial attitude to keep their home their own. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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