Mike Capron


Paisano’s have always intrigued me. They are interesting to watch, great movers and full of energy. We were discussing roadrunners one day and I commented that I had never seen a roadrunner nest or a young roadrunner. A roadrunner expert told me that roadrunners didn’t leave the nest until they were full grown and nest were hard to find.  I am always watching nature and my surroundings, but I have found only one roadrunner nest in my years of bumping around. I was shocked one day coming to the house from the horse pasture and right at the house gate in a stack of cedar post was a roadrunner sitting on a nest. The roadrunner was hard to see as it was in the top of the post stack about 6 feet off the ground. The post were stacked standing up like corn stalks and down in the stack was a nest hidden for the most part with a roadrunner sitting on the nest.  I had to come and go this way nearly every day, so I could peek in on the paisanos pretty regular.  I wish I had kept a written record of my comings and goings.  I didn’t and just as well, I didn’t know enough to tell the male from the female if there was two of them …??  I can’t even tell you how long I watched them. There was lots of activity when mom and pops were coming and going with food for the young. The young did stay in the nest until one day they were gone, and mom and pop also . Lots of different kinds of little varmints were brought home for meal time. I am very impressed how a rattlesnake is handled by a roadrunner. I haven’t seen this but once, but I would have paid for a ticket to watch this little event.   

I have talked to quail hunters who shoot every roadrunner they see. They claim they eat the baby quail. I wouldn’t doubt this at all, but doubt that the quail population is harmed by the roadrunners too much of a degree.

I am always impressed with the numbers of quail we have different years. Rabbits also vary in numbers with each year.  Game as a rule vary with different conditions and hunting pressures. Some years are better than others but it is with a lot of variable factors.  I don’t think we evaluate population pressures very accurately.   We don’t realize how harmful we are.  Not sure what to do about it.   

Roadrunners, and paisanos are also called chaparrals. Our two year old called them runroaders.    

1 comment

Janice Smith

I’ve sent this wonderful roadrunner piece to many of the family Great article. I’ve always enjoyed this bird!!!

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