Welcome to the business and personal website of me, Jan Burch - aka Jan4insight - owner & practitioner of Geo-Glow Consulting. Call me a “Renaissance woman” > My business aims to be your go-to source for holistic energy work and intuitive readings. My creative side makes (and sells!) gorgeous one-of-a-kind handcrafts and fabulously colorful print-on-demand gifts and more. Here at my site, you can find me on the Web, order a reading, learn more about my energy work services, and check in with my occasional musings. Legal stuff: This site uses cookies, and some posts may contain affiliate links. Thank you very much.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Call of the Semi-Wild Roadrunner

As I've written before, my front yard has been home to a pair (or more, or fewer) of Greater Roadrunners over the past several months. Here's my take on what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the Call of the (semi-)Wild Roadrunner.

Roadie, my resident roadrunner, gets a bead on a bud on my front porch.
Yes, my front porch is a mess!
It took me some time to verify that the calls I was hearing actually came from the roadrunners, but once I heard it outside with the roadie in view, there was no doubt. I hear two distinct calls from my resident roadies: the rattle call, and what I call the hu call. 

The rattle call is a very distinct, short rattle noise that sounds mysteriously nature-planetish when heard from a distance. But up close — and I’ve heard it up close — it is a loud, snapping sound. I’ve been known to startle when Roadie lets off his rattle call as I’m carefully pouring out dried mealworms on a rock for his evening snack.
I’ve also observed that the loud, close rattle call sounds somewhat like the clicker used in certain modes of dog training; from what I’ve read, it seems like a an effective training method for a variety of critters, including humans. In which case, Roadie has been quite successful in training his various providers of mealworms around the neighborhood. Because I am not the only roadrunner servant on the block!
The hu call — my term — is what the books and nature authorities describe as a dove-like cooing sound. However, I think it sounds more like an owl, but not quite. Therefore, I call it hu not hoooooo…. Then again, the big, fat white-winged doves around my place can sound like owls when they get going. So there you are!
To make sure I knew what I was talking about, I looked up roadrunner calls on The Google before I wrote this diary, and I even listened to several audio clips. Most of them did not sound like my Roadie (no, he doesn’t go beep beep...) but I did find this video that is as close to my Roadie as you can get. There are some slight variations, but I put it down to the fact that roadrunner in this video is Rudy, not Roadie.
Regarding what these calls are for … again there is disagreement among the authorities. Some say the rattle is a female call and the hu is the mating call for males, or vice versa. Some say the rattle is a begging call. Since I often hear the rattle when I walk out the front door, I take it as a greeting call ;) And once, just days ago, Roadie was running across the yard to me as I put out his mealworms. When he got about four feet from me, he gave a soft hu call. Now, I really don’t think he was hoping to mate with me. But still, I felt honored :)
And that’s what I know about roadrunner calls!
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