Roadrunners are associated with deserts but they have had a range expansion so can be found not only in the Southwest but east to parts of Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana with scrub habitat. They are also found in small numbers in a piece of Colorado including where I live in south central and extending into the southeastern plains.
The roadrunners found in the United States are called Greater Roadrunners and there is another species called Lesser Roadrunners found in Mexico and Central America.
The last time I blogged about roadrunners was last summer when I featured a roadrunner I had photographed in Texas. I found the roadrunner in these photos this week at a local state wildlife area that has a lot of cholla and prickly pear cactus, a common habitat around this part of Colorado.
This roadrunner thought it was hidden from view when it climbed into a small juniper tree. In order to get such candid shots I stayed in my car and shot from my car window. A car makes a good ‘bird blind’ as explained in more depth in this article from NaturePhotographers.net. FYI, I use my car as a bird blind as often as possible and find I get very good photos because I don’t disturb the birds as much.
I had a lot of fun watching this roadrunner hunting for ‘game’–while I watched it was going after large insects. They also eat “a variety of animal foods, including small snakes, lizards, mice, scorpions, and insects”. (National Audubon Society) As can be seen in the photo just above they do assume the speedy position made famous by the ‘Road Runner’ cartoon character that uses it’s speed and stealth to avoid Wile E. Coyote in the Loonie Tunes and Merry Melody cartoon series.
Here is a video clip I made of this roadrunner