I looked up from my computer and out the kitchen window and could see this BIG BIRD sitting on the rail. Oh, no! The hawk is back after “mah baaaby”! But no, it was Diana with a lizard. I grabbed my camera, but didn’t want to go outside as they would no doubt spook her. So this shot is through two layers of glass, where two windows overlap.
She was cooing, presumably calling to see if her female (yet unnamed) baby was requiring sustenance. When there was no answer call from a needy baby, she happily upended the lizard into her own mouth, and that was that. She ran towards the house, around the corner, and out of my sight.
As for the baby . . . for the last few days, she has been running around the yard, doing big girl things, and learning how to survive. She hangs out in the back yard, and in the nest sometimes, and other times she goes into the front yard. Near dusk, she calls out a bit, and then hops up into the huge plum tree by my bedroom window.
If I see/hear her, I go to the window and talk baby bird talk to her, and she seems to listen. We wonder if she is looking for me before she goes to bed for the night. In the morning, she hops down, calls a bit, and I talk to her. Then she runs around the house, and out into the back forty to start her bug collecting for the day.
The other day, DH had his tripod and camera up on the deck to take a picture of the open expanse towards the mountains, and she hopped right up on the railing near where he was. He froze so as not to frighten her.
Apparently she is accustomed to the sound of my voice, having heard it since she was an egg. I wonder if birds “hear” while they are still eggs. Anyway, she had a black bumble bee in her mouth and marched right by him and started across the deck to where she could hear my voice out the kitchen window. It was almost as if she was trying to show me that she had captured her first meal!
She is small enough that she can get in between the openings in the latticework that is in front of the hedge where her nest is, so she hopped up there and skittered into the nest area. I guess that is the roadrunner equivalent of a picnic table after they grow too large to use it as a bed. We’ve seen Diana bring food to her there previously, so she apparently associates it with dining.
Last night, I was watching Baby Girlbird happily chasing lizards just out in the alley when I heard a clattering noise, and a big shape swooped down off our deck roof. Before I could register what it was, a huge male roadrunner landed right beside her and started doing what I presume is some sort of mating dance – leaping and jumping. It’s not clear she had any idea what was going on, but they both ran off into the mesquite trees where we couldn’t see them.
A few minutes later, she came back out. She was too far away to see if she was smiling, but I didn’t see anything of the really big roadrunner after that. I’m wondering if it is the male from the pair that hatched and raised her, or a random Romeo just passing through these here parts. Do birds even understand about incest? I can’t imagine that she is already sexually mature. She is only a week or so out of the nest.
We wonder if she will hang around here as her “home”, and if so, for how long? Do roadrunners migrate, or stake out territory and stay around for a while? Do they deplete the lizard population and then move on?
This has been a really thrilling experience!