Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Roadrunner antics...

I birded Peters Canyon this morning. As I was locking my bike to a tree in the parking lot, I noticed a Greater Roadrunner lurking around the edge of the parking lot. It was fairly tame, and didn't seem too concerned when I sneaked up for photos.

As I watched, it ran across an open wood chip area near the ranger station. This isn't a great photo, but it captures the pose of a running roadrunner.

It paused to preen and take a quick dust bath among the wood chips...

Then darted behind the ranger station and disappeared. I thought it had slipped into the dense brush nearby, but it turned out it was sitting on the cowbird trap behind the ranger station! (Peters Canyon is home to the Least Bell's Vireo, which is threatened. Cowbirds are trapped to help the vireos.) The roadrunner eyed the nervous cowbirds, and tried to nab them through the wire! It kept at it for a couple minutes then ran off.

There were lots of other birds around Peters Canyon this morning. Some of the more interesting ones included (2) Caspian Terns, (4) Pacific-slope Flycatchers (one adult feeding three cute fledglings), (5) California Gnatcatchers, (1) Cactus Wren, (1) Common Moorhen, and (1) American Wigeon. The wigeon was probably the best bird of the morning. It could be an oversummering bird, but I haven't seen it before today, and it doesn't seem totally unlikely that it could be an early returning bird.

1 comment:

Tarheel_Birder said...

Hello this is me Bobby (Audubob)
That Roadrunner sounds cool! That is one of the Western birds I have always wanted to see!