Hungry Roadrunner

Down the hatch

Down the hatch

I walked past the window in my living room just in time to see a Greater Roadrunner positioning a House Sparrow and then swallowing it – in much the same manner as a heron swallows a fish.

I silently backed up and then tip-toed to the kitchen table to retrieve my camera from where I had left it when I returned from the foothills this morning. The roadrunner was still there struggling with the sparrow. I snapped a picture through the window.

All done

All done

Before long it was down, and its throat was bulging. I didn’t think it could run very fast with the bird lodged in its throat, so I took a chance and slowly opened the door. It squeaked, but the roadrunner was still standing there, allowing me to get a picture of its satisfied look.

A couple of weeks ago I heard a loud screeching as I opened my garage door. I stepped to the opening just in time to see a roadrunner race out of the tree next to my driveway, a fledgling in its mouth and an American Robin in hot pursuit – screaming at it.

I felt sad for the robin, since there are so few of them that nest on my street. “I wish it would have been a House Sparrow,” I wished out loud. Today, thankfully, it was the sparrow and not another robin.

The last time I was at the Rio Grande Nature Center, I noticed that the eggs in the roadrunner nest had hatched. There were three little faces peering at me from the eye-level nest near the road into the parking area. I guess when the parents are feeding hungry chicks they need more protein than just lizards.

The life cycle of nature goes on…


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