This morning a roadrunner came into the yard. Not so unusual, especially since we have had a few pairs in this end of the neighborhood for quite a few years. But this time we got to witness them at their best… mating season.! They get a little amorous this time of year.
This Roadrunner was lured in by the sound of running water in our courtyard. Having the sound of running water in your yard will bring in just about any wildlife, including the creatures of the night – skunks and racoons. We’ll suffer any of these evils to see the birds bath, though. It is a hoot!
The Roadrunner took a very clumsy bath, jumped onto the roof of Adobe Nido’s Guesthouse and started calling. Lo and behold, a suitor showed up and called back from the frontyard. The bather hopped into the front courtyard’s catalpa tree, crouched down and looking much like a dinosaur stalking prey, with mouth open and ready to pounce. She called again.
The suitor was bearing a gift! In its mouth was a Juniper berry. I didn’t think they ate juniper berries, especially a dried out leftover from last season, but apparently this was an appropriate gift because the bather came down from the tree to great her the suitor. They make a “woo, woo” sound at this time of year, their mating call. The call isn’t unlike a dove, but is less pretty and more like a person simply saying the word, “who”. Then the dogs heard them, saw them, raised a racket and the Roadrunner were gone. I wouldn’t have stuck around either. That barking is not very amorous.
I had fetched my camera at this point, but they took off before I could snap a shot.
These Roadrunners can be quite oblivious to what’s happening around them when they are courting, but the chihuahuas were a bit to much. But a few years ago they carried on this ritual right in front of my husband and a neighbor while they were chatting it up in at the fence. Two mated pairs live in this awful looking lot across the street. The lot is an eye sore to us, but we ARE grateful for the wildlife that lives there, including the roadrunners.
I hope these two hang for a few days so our guests can see them. We have great roadrunner stories to share with them. The hunting and eating stories are not suitable for young ears though. They are raptors, after all.
I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!