The Quintessential Bird to Chase

A distinctive bird of the American southwest, after vultures probably the most distinctive, largely thanks to those silly Looney Tunes Roadrunner-Coyote cartoons. But the Greater Roadrunner is a lot more comical than the cartoon one, although it’s rarely chased by coyotes.

Greater Roadrunner, Tuba, Arizona

Greater Roadrunner, Tubac, Arizona

Roadrunners can raise and lower their crests, and frequently raise and lower their tails, sometimes very slowly. And, yes, they do run very quickly indeed. Contrary to folklore and the cartoon, they can fly. And they eat snakes and lizards, not bird seed. Other than that, the cartoon has it mostly right. Well, partially right. Actually, maybe a few things right.

For the record, WC didn’t chase this roadrunner; he sat on a patio and waited for the roadrunner to come to him.