Paisano AKA Greater Roadrunner

The paisano, or better known as the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), is a living symbol of the southwest.  It is a member of the cuckoo family and dwells on the ground, nesting in cactus or thickets.  Their diet consists of insects, lizards, snakes, bird eggs, birds, rodents, spiders, and scorpions.  Their flying is limited to only hopping into trees from branch to branch.  On the ground they can run up to 15mph in pursuit of prey.

They are usually solitary, but this morning Ann and I saw a group of four, that were apparently trying to decide which one was going to take possession of a deceased Northern Cardinal.  Enjoy the photo that I was able to get, and click on the image to get an enlargement.

Greater Runner with prey

6 thoughts on “Paisano AKA Greater Roadrunner

  1. Great info about the roadrunner. I got a couple of photos of roadrunners (beep beep) on the Big Bend excursion. One was a “pet” I imagine and one was running up the trail as we climbed the Lost Mine Trail. Was glad to see them! Look for them soon on My Photographic Memories.

    Mike Z

    PS I am sure you’ve seen the statue of Paisano Pete in Ft Stockton, right? I took a photo of it for a friend several years ago, but have lost it somewhere. Reminds me that I need to go back and get another one!

    • Thanks Mike,
      Though I doubt it was a “pet” if you are implying that it was tame. Actually, sometimes you can get quite close to them. They don’t seem to be afraid of humans.
      I’ll bet you got great shots on the Lost Mine Trail. I’m looking forward to your pictures. That is a spectacular place and I envy you. I can’t wait to get back there in October.
      Yes, I am familiar with “Paisano Pete” in Fort Stockton. I think I have some images of it/him laying around somewhere.

      • OOPS! I think I was wrong about the statue’s name. I believe it is Pecos Pete. Interesting story, I drove all over Ft Stockton looking for the statue, and the whole time it was hiding in plain sight. I stopped at the main intersection of town, and asked the store mgr where it was. He said “right across the street.” I went from 6 feet to 6 inches tall in about 2 seconds!


    • When I magnified it in the computer it definitely looked like the beak of a Cardinal. Also, it was much larger than a Sparrow. As a matter of fact, when I saw the Roadrunner carrying it around before I got the picture, I was thinking a small rodent. But thanks for commenting on it. It makes for an interesting discussion. Bob
      P.S. I had several exposures of it.

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