Monday, September 20, 2010


I mentioned a while back about my resident Road Runner. I know, I had no idea that Arkansas had these birds but we do.

This fellow or lady was catching grasshoppers by my car port the other day. I realize and apologize that this is not a great picture but have you any idea how fast these rascals can run which they prefer over flying?

They can actually run about 17 miles per hour and they have very little “still” time which makes taking their picture a challenge. I am still fascinated each time I see one. For years I thought they were the figment of a cartoonists mind.

Interesting but gross facts are as follows thanks to Desert USA.

The Roadrunner reabsorbs water from its feces before excretion. How “green” and sustainable is that? They must have dry poop.

The Roadrunner’s nasal gland eliminates excess salt, instead of using the urinary tract like most birds.

Its extreme quickness allows it to snatch a humming bird or dragonfly from mid air. Not good news for my hummers.

Because of its lightening quickness, the Roadrunner is one of the few creatures that preys upon rattlesnakes. Using its wings like a matador's cape, it snaps up a coiled rattlesnake by the tail, cracks it like a whip and repeatedly slams its head against the ground till dead.

It then swallows its prey whole, but is often unable to swallow the entire length at one time. This does not stop the Roadrunner from its normal routine. It will continue to meander about with the snake dangling from its mouth, consuming another inch or two as the snake slowly digests.

I personally saw one kill a red wing black bird under my feeder. He had the unfortunate black bird in his beak and repeatedly slammed him into the ground. I do know all creatures have to eat, I just don't care to watch it.

Those facts kind of keep it out of the cute and cuddly category which is sad for someone who grew up on the adorable Road Runner cartoons. Still they are very interesting birds and as long as he or she leaves my other birds alone, it is welcome.

Lesson of the day over.

I do have a favor to ask of you. My brother in law is in the University of Miami hospital awaiting a liver transplant. I have known Tom since he was in high school. Nowhere will you find a kinder hearted man. He is one of those who will literally give you the shirt off his back.

If you need something and he has it, it is yours. If he doesn't have it, he will get it. Combine that gentle heart with a wicked sense of humor and you have a man who needs to stay around a long time.

If you could include him and his family in your prayers or if you don't pray, keep him in your good thoughts. His family and I would be so grateful. Thank you so much.


  1. Verrrrryyy interesting! All these facts about a Road Runner were new to me, I learned Wiley E.Coyote did have reason to fear The Road Runner!

    Tom will be in my thoughts and prayers, Patti.

  2. My BIL was in the same hospital ...for the same thing....they are wonderful there....
    Will send a little pray his way..


  3. Will add Tom and family to my personal prayer time.

    Having lived in Texas, the roadrunner was very common. Thank GOd I have been preserved from watching their digestive processes. It was bad enough to watch Luckie with her chipmunks and baby rabbits.

    She is somewhat depressed as the lack of trees and vegetation since the ice storm have moved her favorite prey to greener pastures.

  4. I have never seen a Roadrunner (except in pictures and cartoons)... That one is neat.... Can't believe he can kill a red-wingled blackbird... Yipes!!!

    Yes---I will pray for your brother-in-law. I hope he will be fine...

    Hugs and PRAYERS,

  5. Prayer said. I hope he will be okay.

    I can't believe they can swallow a snake whole. Ew.

  6. Definitely, I am sending all positive thoughts to your brother in law and all those who love him.

    I saw road runners when we were driving through Nevada, but I did not know anything about their habits. Interesting!

  7. Dear Patti! This was a very interesting post. I didn't know much about the Road Runner, and that's an understatement! How interesting that it should eat rattlesnakes! They must be very fast to do so. May be that's the only thing Walt Disney had right about this bird.
    I am so sorry that your BIL is in hospital! Of course I'll pray for him. Hugs for you!

  8. Yes of course. I would be honored to be included in sending healing thoughts to him. Sounds like a great guy.
    Roadrunners are indeed not soft and cuddly. I worked in a cemetery as a record keeper. MY office was in the mausoleum. The cemetery was like a nature preserve. We left the doors open in nice weather and the darned critters would make their way inside and wild critters on marble floors is a funny sight...speaking of traction. Anyway the roadrunners would try to get out by way of the stained glass panels and just wouldn't take shooing very well. A co-worker got mauled by one as it tried to escape. She had plastic surgery to fix what the bird did to her. Ouch.
    I saw them with tails sticking out and running along in the cemetery often....ick.

  9. I will indeed keep your BIL in my thoughts and prayers and send Healing Vibes his way.

    I've always thought Roadrummers were adorable, having seen them in the Desert many many times...But, reading about their capabilities with "the kill"...OY! Not so cute anymore.(lol)

  10. I do love road runners. We had one in our neighborhood in Texas. They are very tough birds. I did not know that information about them and rattlesnakes.

    Sorry about your BIL. We have a 17 year old niece waiting for a kidney transplant. Waiting is not easy. I wish peace for all of you.

  11. Nature red in tooth and claw.

    I know, i don't like it either, but that's how it is. I hate it when the sparrow hawk picks a small bird off the bird table in the blink of an eye, but is just part of the food chain.

    The only road runners I know come from Disney cartoons, Weren't they funny!

  12. O sorry, I forgot, my healing thoughts will be with Tom.

  13. Wanda,
    This was all new to me also, except the bird eating.
    Thank you so much Wanda for your prayers.

    It is good to know he is in good hands and thank you for the prayer.

    Thank you so much Carol.

    Mighty was bringing in mostly devoured birds, guess they were left overs from the road runner's meals.

    Thank you Betsy. I know prayers do help. I'm sure he is in good hands.

    If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it. It was brutal.

    Thank you Judy so much. We are all hoping for the best.

    That surprised me also. RR is not much on table manners.

    Thank you so much for your positive thoughts. They are so helpful for recovery.

    Reader Wil,
    You are right. Speed is what Walt capitalized on. The cartoon RR would never have made it with a snake hanging out his mouth.

    Thank you so much for your prayers from across the sea.

    Linda in NM
    Thank you so much. It is a fact that healing thoughts do help.

    That is incredible about the one that attacked your co-worker. Guess I had better not corner this dude.

    It does really take some of the cute off doesn't it?

    Thank you so much for your prayers and healing vibes Naomi.

    I am so sorry about your niece and will put her in my prayers also. Waiting is brutal. There is such a need for donors.I was a donor till I got cancer, now they don't want me or he could have part of mine.

    Yes they were though I used to feel a bit bad for the coyote.
    I didn't want him to catch the road runner but I felt badly that he took such a beating.

    Thank you so much for your healing thoughts from across the pond.

  14. I learned something today about the Road Runner. Consider the pray request done.

  15. That was suppose to be prayer request.

  16. I enjoyed this post. Road Runners are very interesting birds. I have seen lots of them in Oklahoma when I lived there but have not seen many here in Arkansas. I have seen pictures of them with a snake hanging from their mouth...that scene is not too appetizing.

    Prayers are still going up for Tom.

    Have a great week.


  17. Praying for them..Honored to do this for them....Thanks for asking...
    As for road runners, well....

  18. I will surely remember your BIL; tough times, I'm sure.

    Now, about the RR...such interesting facts! Yes, I only know his cartoon cousin, and had no idea about his vicious little eating habits!!

  19. Patty,
    I did too and thank you so much for helping Tom. This has been a tough time.

    I have seen them scoot across the road here in the Ozarks and I had a married couple and I think this may be a juvenile.

    Thank you so much for your prayers.

    Rocky Mountain Woman,
    Bless you and thank you. I'm convinced prayer is what will turn the balance in his favor.

    Thank you so much for adding your voice.This has been so hard on the family as well as Tom.

    Pretty disgusting eating habits huh? That rubs the cute right off.

    Thank you so much for your healing thoughts.

  20. I also had never seen a road runner - I hate to admit it, but I didn't even know they were real! But yuck, killing and eating other birds - ew. Well, I don't know if it's true that you learn something every day, but I did today... I hope all goes well with your brother in law. It sounds like a hard time for him and his family. I'll keep them in my thoughts.

  21. Prayers sent for your brother in law. I hope he gets a transplant soon.

    Roadrunners sound like nasty creatures. I don't see many in my neck of Arkansas, and that's a good thing. Although, the fact that it eats rattlesnakes redeems it a little bit.

  22. Oh my, how I loved your roadrunner story and then all the gross information about the little scoundrels.

  23. Prayer is a very powerful thing and you can count on me to say one.

    Thanks for sharing your road runner with us. I always thought they were a pretty interesting bird. We don't have them by us; but my cousin in California used to have them and would tell me about it. Also, my sister in Texas had them around her place and I've seen a few. BeepBeep

  24. I will pray for
    Tom and also put him on the prayer chain through my church.

  25. I've never seen a real road runner, but my husband has the automotive version. Your facts about them are very interesting.

    I will keep Tom in my thoughts.

  26. Good Luck to Tom. A silent prayer his way!!! Take care Patti.

  27. Ellen,
    Thank you so much for your good thoughts. It has been brutal on the family.

    I learned also.

    Southwest Arkie,
    Thank you so much. The waiting is hard.

    Don't guess we have as many as other states but I seem to have a nice population.

    I agree, gross it may be but interesting.They are definitely the "bad boys" of birddome.

    Thank you so much. There is a lot of power in them.

    It is hard not to see one and immediately think "beep-beep."

    Thank you so very much Rose for stopping by and for adding Tom to your churches prayer chain.That is what we need right now.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    Thank you so much for keeping Tom in your thoughts. They so help the healing process.

    Thank you so much my friend. That means a lot.

  28. I haven't seen a Road Runner in years! When I was a child and my family would drive across Texas and other parts south to get to California (Grandma's house) we used to make a game of watching for them. I have lifted Tom up in prayer today and asked that any spirit of fear be replaced by God's peace. blessings, marlene

  29. Patti,
    You've opened up another new vista for me. Road Runners. I didn't even know they were a real bird. I even had a llama at the ranch by name of Road Runner but he came with that name. He was a great stud. Hummm Now I wonder if that's why he was so named?

    So sorry. I will be sending healing energy to Tom.

  30. Interesting, as we have no roadrunners here in Iowa.

  31. Stichinbythelake,
    That is such a beautiful prayer Marlene, thank you so much.

    Perhaps because he was so fast at his job???

    Thank you so much for your healing energy.

    Iowa Garden Lady,
    Luckily your song birds and hummers have less to fear than our birds.
    Thank you for stopping by TNS, I wlll visit your blog now.

  32. Hoping you BIL is doing better, dear Patti...

  33. I do hope and pray that Tome gets his liver transplant quickly.

    I never knew all those facts about roadrunners, sorry about some of them like you though.

  34. If I had an apple I would offer it to my new favorite teacher Arkansas Patti. The most ineresting tid bits of facts I have heard in a long time. Thanks.
    Best wishes to your BIL.
    Thanks for sharing.

  35. OOLOH,
    Thank you Naomi. We should know more today.

    Linda Starr,
    Thank you Linda for your help.
    We are all pulling for him.

    Thanks GQ, glad I could expand your knowledge. Now you won't have to stay after school.
    Tom, his family and I thank you.

  36. Very cool Road Runner, patti. How lucky that you have them there. I had no idea.

    Sending good wishes to your brother-in-law. Hope all goes well.

  37. robin,
    If you ever see one, shoo your song birds for their protection.
    Thank you so much for the good thoughts. The waiting is hard.