And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, (Lev 11:16)
While on our vacation to the West (USA) I wanted to see the Greater Runner. It was one of the top birds on my “to see” list. Disappointed by not finding one in the wild, we were not totally disappointed. Surprised, but not disappointed. I actually saw some years ago, but wanted to photograph a wild one.
When we stopped in Fort Stockton, Texas, we visited the original Camp Stockton and then went to see the “22 foot” Roadrunner. No kidding, it is 22 feet long and 11 feet tall. Of course it was not a live roadrunner. I have since learned that his name is “Paisano Pete.”
(Bonus) Apparently Fort Stockton likes “big birds” because we found a large chicken also.
An actual “roadrunner, also known as a chaparral bird and a chaparral cock, is a fast-running ground cuckoo that has a long tail and a crest. It is found in the southwestern United States and Mexico, usually in the desert. Some have been clocked at 20 miles per hour (32 km/h).”
“The subfamily Neomorphinae, the New World ground cuckoos, includes eleven species of birds, while the genus Geococcyx has just two, the greater roadrunner and the lesser roadrunner. The Greater Roadrunner, (Geococcyx californianus), inhabits Mexico and the southwestern United States. The Lesser Roadrunner, (Geococcyx velox), inhabits Mexico and Central America.” (Wikipedia)
Well, “Paisano Pete” definitely would not count as a real bird, so I had to keep looking. We saw some in a Zoo or two, but when we got to the Living Desert Zoo in California, we were able to really see two of them. They were in an aviary where we saw them up close and not through a cage wire. These are the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus). One was warming itself by exposing its feathers on the back and the other was trying to kill a dead mouse and chase a Turkey Vulture around. Got within two feet of one of them.
Fort Stockton, Texas: Paisano Pete: Giant Roadrunner
Fort Stockton, Texas – Wikipedia
Greater Roadrunner – Wikipedia
Cuckoos – Cuculidae Family