I moved to Arizona from Eugene, Oregon, also known as Track Town USA. Road runners were everywhere—streets, sidewalks, and trails. Funny that the collegiate athletes are called “Ducks.”
Here in Arizona, ducks are limited to rare wetlands in the desert. Roadrunners, on the other hand, thrive in the deserts and chaparral of the Southwest, and it is always a special treat to encounter this bizarre member of the cuckoo family.
I live in Granite Dells, a wonderland of granite outcrops with clearings (“dells”) nestled among the boulders and peaks. This is roadrunner country. Continue reading →
Dining has its dangers. And I don’t mean indigestion or choking on a bone. I’m talking hazards for the local seed-eating birds—the doves, quail, sparrows, juncos, and finches that check out the seeds that I scatter on the ground each morning.
Winter’s icy chill has descended on this part of Arizona, and recent snow has frozen into a crunchy crust. Little soil is exposed, and even the shrubs continue to bear heavy blobs of snow. These are lean times for seed-eating birds; there is no dietary margin for error. Find enough to eat or die. Continue reading →