A Roadrunner Trying to Stay Warm

A few years ago, I saw a bird like this sitting on a rock in my front yard. I’d lived in New Mexico most of my adult life, but I did not know which species it was… until s/he decided to run off to another sunspot in the yard. Holy cow… it was a roadrunner.

I know the tail is a dead giveaway (now), but I think it is pretty cool to see the bird increase their feather surface area by fluffing them outward when they are cold. They look a little plumpy like this, but skinny straight down when it’s time to dash.

We had a family of roadrunners hide on our property for a few years. Now I think their kids (or grandkids) stop by every so often for some lizards or a place to sun and get warm.

In the summer, these birds like to take “dirt-baths” in the backyard. It drives my cats crazy to see them fluttering on the ground, rolling around in the dirt. One of my killers likes to imagine catching and eating one, while the other cat is jealous because she *loves* taking dirt-baths herself.

Our local temps this week have hovered around 30 degrees, give or take 10 less degrees. I hope to see a few more of these feathered friends in the days ahead.


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