Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Greater Roadrunner - Western Birds

A Greater Roadrunner, Crystal Cove State Park, CA; 6/17/2011.
I always thought Roadrunners were a desert bird - so you can imagine my surprise when a Roadrunner zipped out of the brush in front of me and disappeared down the trail - it was gone within seconds. I didn't expect to see one just yards from the coast of the Pacific Ocean.  Well actually, the area in Crystal Cove State Park, up on the bluff overlooking the ocean is very arid, grassy, weedy and brush-filled, which is the exact kind of  habitat the roadrunner likes. A couple of days later, I saw another Roadrunner just sitting on an electrical box (Above) posing as if on a pedestal. That same morning, I saw four different Roadrunners in different parts of the park. This was the same morning I saw the Bobcat (see my 7/10/2011 post - link below: ). The Bobcat must have been on to something, with all the roadrunners out and about that morning - or the roadrunners were moving about because of the Bobcat.
Another Greater Roadrunner, Crystal Cove State Park, CA; 6/17/2011.
Greater Roadrunners are found throughout the Southwest from southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and even into Louisiana and Arkansas, and of course, all over Mexico.
A close up of a Greater Roadrunner after it caught a small snake, Crystal Cove State Park, CA; 6/17/2011.
Greater Roadrunners are large ground bird which very seldom flies, that grow to almost two feet in length. They do their hunting in the bush looking for lizards and snakes (Above).  They are a brown steaked bird with a long tail and large crest. They often have a spot of blue and red behind the eye.
A Greater Roadrunner doing what' it is known for, Crystal Cove State Park, CA; 6/17/2011.
The first Roadrunner I ever saw was in Big Bend National Park, Texas;12/30/2007.
Another Greater Roadrunner, Tucson, AZ; 12/29/2009.
There are also the Lesser Roadrunners which are a bit smaller than the Greater, and can be found in southwestern Mexico and the northern regions of Central America.

The desert habitat of Crystal Cove State Park is perfect for Roadrunners, CA; 6/14/2011.

The Pacific Ocean Coastline as seen from the bluffs, Crystal Cove State Park, CA; 6/14/20011.

Sunset of the Day
A Desert Sunset, Phoenix, AZ; December, 2006.

1 comment:

~Val said...

I didn't realize you had so many great roadrunner photos. I still remember how cool it was to see the one in Texas.