Ornithology The Roadrunner

ISBN 13: 9780896722439

The Roadrunner

4.43 avg rating
( 7 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780896722439: The Roadrunner

The lifestyle of the roadrunner is vividly documented in this one-of-a-kind book. Wyman Meinzer's photographs and text provide a personal account of the years he spent observing the daily routine of several roadrunner families as the birds courted, mated, nested, reared their young, and hunted for food.From the book:The roadrunner crouched low and began to circle the snake, all the time dropping its wings and testing the snake's quickness. As the snake struck, the bird leaped back almost as fast as the eye could follow, then leaped forward grabbing the rattler by the head and tossing it into the air. When the reptile hit the ground, the bird was upon it instantly, grasping it by the body and beating it repeatedly on the ground. . . . After perhaps five minutes of this furious activity, the adult bird would seize the snake and dash to the nest to feed the now very dead rattlesnake to its two-week-old fledglings. Interestingly, all reptiles including horned lizards, whiptails, and nonvenomous snakes were killed in this same manner.With cameras ready, I awaited the hatch of the young. . . . For the first few days after hatching, the female continued to shelter the young with her constant presence. The male, on the other hand, was constantly on the go, bringing grubs and small insects for the tiny "roadsters." When the female tired of her nest duties, the male would take her place. After jumping to the ground and instead of engaging directly in hunting, she would stand in the warming sunrays and preen for several minutes. Then she would depart into the mesquite thickets and return within about forty-five minutes with food.

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From Library Journal:

This engaging book is the first one available on the roadrunner, a species of cuckoo that sometimes eats rattlesnakes by swallowing them whole. These unique birds were famous even before the popular cartoon character (beep! beep!). They are fairly common in arid areas of the U.S. Southwest and in Mexico, where they are called paisano. Meinzer is an accomplished outdoor photograher with 170 magazine and book covers to his credit. His present roadrunner studies were done in Texas and feature 115 fine color photos that offer excellent depictions of roadrunners capturing snakes, lizards, mice, praying mantises, etc., but also show many courtship and nesting scenes. Habitats and scenery are also detailed. Although brief, the text is both informal and informative, with sections on biology, habits, feeding, and young. This book is worth the price for the exceptional photos alone. Highly recommended.
- Henry T. Armistead, Thomas Jefferson Univ. Lib., Philadelphia
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

The Roadrunner is King of the Road in these parts and The Roadrunner by Wyman Meinzer is King of the books on his/her majesty.

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Published by Texas Tech University Press (1993)
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