I've already made many observations of Roadie and Roadette as they settle in for the night, strutting down the sidewalk in front of my house, roosting on a rock or low tree branch, and watching the sun set. I don't mean to get all anthropomorphic, but it's hard not to - they remind me so much of a comfortably married couple, sitting out in their rocking chairs on the front porch. Indeed, I happened upon Roadette (I think - they are hard to tell apart) almost on my front porch today. She may have been sorting through the dried pine needles I haven't swept up, looking for nest material or maybe a buggy supper.
They do, however, have a primitive look about them, especially when they're roosting quietly with feathers puffed against the cold. That's why I call them "feathered dinosaurs" and from what I've seen, the male especially can be rather fierce if he thinks his lady love is threatened. Fortunately, they don't have to worry about any Wily E. Coyotes, but there are some determined neighborhood cats who would love to get their paws on these prize birdies. I do my best to discourage the visiting felines.
Southwestern lore says that having roadrunners hanging about your yard brings you good luck and keeps away evil spirits. To that end, some of my neighbors have been putting out food and water for them, while I provide the habitat. This is probably the most cooperation we've had in my 'hood since I've been here, so maybe the good luck part is coming true. It will interesting to see what happens as the nesting season progresses. As many years as I've been in the southwest and seen roadrunner running down the road, I don't believe I've ever seen a baby roadrunner. I will be like an overprotective grandma, chasing the neighborhood cats away!
Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.