October 19, 2009 • 7:29 am

In Death Valley, this little guy wandered into our campsite.  We fed him lettuce, which he ate with some reluctance.  That wasn’t a surprise given that these birds (related to cuckoos) are largely carnivorous.


Fig. 1.  The roadrunner, Geococcyx californianus.

Which of course brings this to mind:

11 thoughts on “Roadrunner

  1. When I saw the roadrunners in Arizona, it brought to mind the WB cartoons. It seems the story writers did pay attention to the bird’s behaviour.

  2. The roadrunners living around our house reject anything from us but raw red meat. It’s great fun to watch them deal with any rattlesnakes that venture into the area during nesting season.

    1. We put out meat to attract the roadrunners, to mitigate encroachment of rattlesnakes. As far as we could tell, it worked. Plus, the birds are fun to watch.

  3. What about his suicide attempt seems futile?

    Maybe he already had Jesus rather sadistically keeping him alive in his little hell, while never being able to die. Seems like today’s ID, after all, only god could balance out predator and prey, parasite and host, and apparently god’s whole purpose is an apparent (evolutionary) purposelessness.

    Glen Davidson

  4. Why would you ever think that giving wild animals food is a good idea? Its not for no reason that there are signs *everywhere* in national parks warning you not to feed the animals. Doing so, even with the best intentions, hurts the animals. Even if the food isn’t bad for the diets, it encourages the animals to return looking for hand outs, degrades their ability to find their own food, artificially inflates the animal population (since the weaker animals continue to thrive due to the hand outs) while reducing the population/habitat of whatever animal(s)/plant(s) the animal you just fed normally consumes. Its just bad all around.

    And pretending that giving the animal one piece of lettuce isn’t going to have any impact is delusional. You do it once, the next guy does it once, and over time, tons of people are “doing it just once”.

    Please, don’t feed the animals. Go to a petting zoo if you feel compelled to give hand outs to animals.

  5. I used to enjoy watching them kill and eat snakes; I never tried feeding them a wiener or a sausage though. I’ve never seen them eat plant material; maybe they’d go for the prickly pear when it’s in season.

  6. The video was great, but the suicide attempt was completely unbelievable. I mean, come on! I’ve seen him survive being crushed by anvils, squashed by giant boulders, fall through invisible holes, blown up in rocket-skate accidents. Why should I excpect a mere catapult into a mountainside to do any damage?

  7. Bah. People forget it’s Wile E. Coyote, Inventor & Genius. Or Super-genius, even. He’s got plenty of skills that could be put to good use if he ever got over his obsession. He’s Lex Luthor to the Road Runner’s Superman. Probably could have built the next generation of NASA rockets via mail order by now if he weren’t wasting his time on that damn bird.

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