Friday, April 17, 2015

Geococcyx californianus

 We had a visitor yesterday.
It began by tapping on the glass panel of the back door last night.
TBG heard it on his midnight saunter to the 'fridge.
He ignored it.  
"Who wants to see what's out in the desert in the middle of the night?  It's dark and creepy."

I heard it the next afternoon. 
It was not a gentle sound.  
No, denizens, it was quite imperious.
TBG laughed, told me he'd heard the same thing the night before, and wondered what I thought it might be.  I looked up and saw a tail running across the deck.


 We share their habitat, but rarely encounter them.
I've seen two or three in the nine years I've been sitting at this desk, watching the fauna go by.
This afternoon made up for all my yearning. 
This one was here for a serious visit.

I followed it to the kitchen windows, where I thought to take this video:
no sound - safe to play at work
It's 57 seconds of progressively less jumpy images,
and yes, that is a lizard in its beak.

The more I looked at it, the creepier it became.
It's prehistoric.
It's sharp and pointy.
Those feet are menacing.
Here, look at it closer, still:
The crest blew in the wind.
It nimbly skipped onto the pony wall when it grew tired of being the subject of my photos.
I chose not to follow it outside.
I seem to prefer my wildlife with a protective shield between us.


  1. Oh how wonderful, though I agree through the glass is my choice for you too. But he looks so much like the cartoon in real life!

  2. Roadrunners are amazing. Recently, at our place in Peeples Valley, I saw one out the front window. On closer inspection, there were at least 6 of them in our yard. Not sure if they were hunting together or if it was mating season, but the group wandered thru the neighborhood and finally disappeared into the scrub brush. It was something I am sure I will never see again. Thank you for sharing your beep beep experience!

  3. Nice photos. They have been a few times at our Tucson home, usually I see them elsewhere and never got that good of photos

  4. We see them a lot, riding The Loop trail, but I never get pictures. They move too fast. Do you see the round tailed ground squirrels in your yard. They are so cute it just hurts me.

  5. Barbara and Ellyn and Rain and Allison - you've made my day! I always thought that I was too slow and wished a better photographer were around... but now I know it was just dumb blind luck that the beast was behind a glass and not a screen window, and that it found my furniture inviting.

    The Cornell Ornithology site doesn't show the birds with my orange crescent by the eye... neat camouflage, yes?



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