Roadrunner (Chaparral)

road runner - chaparral

Roadrunner (Chaparral) –

Have you ever seen one of these racing by and in front of your truck down a dirt road, and then jumping out of the way just in time?  That’s how these birds got their name – road runners.  Some people know them as Chaparrals.  They live on a nest of sticks that is low down in a cactus patch or in a bush.  They are hard to see because they have black, dark brown, and white feathers, which blend in to the plains and desert perfectly.  The roadrunner is the state bird of New Mexico.

They have a small sharp beak that they use to crack the exoskeleton on scorpions and other insects, and they use it to crack the neck on small rodents and reptiles.  They eat spiders, centipedes, scorpions, millipedes, and sometimes other birds.  Roadrunners can even kill rattlesnakes.  They turn their body into what amounts to a long thin spear and stab at the snake’s head.  When the snake strikes, there just isn’t much of a body to bite into.

I have a lot of respect for a bird brave enough to stab a poisonous snake with its face.

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