Sunday, December 7, 2014

Beep beep!

"Cory" began visiting our yard in the winter of 2010-11.  I trained Cory (as named by granddaughter Teilee after Corythosaurus) to start coming to ground deer scraps.  Cory spent two subsequent winters coming to "deerburger" handouts, and in short order coming to lap, feeding out of hand.  
        By popular demand, here is an update about our local Greater Roadrunners. Roadrunners have always been observed in the Red Hills of Kansas and further south.  In recent decades, they have moved further north, certainly in response to some milder winter conditions associated with climate change which is also implicated in northward movements of other species including the Nine-banded Armadillo, Woodchucks and a number of other smaller mammals.  So what do you do when Roadrunners invade?  Well you have some fun with them!
     Follow the short pictures' caption saga for background on our "pet" roadrunners.  Our first roadrunner, Cory, was originally thought to be a male.  There is very little difference in sexes--mostly in size (the male is slightly larger.)  And in our pair, Gerry, the male, had slightly more contrast in breast feathers and the colors on the side of the head were somewhat brighter.  That could be due to breeding condition as well.  Cory and Gerry and their partners have produced young every year since 2010.  Since we also love the lizards and snakes in our area as well as songbirds and kangaroo rats, I am very conflicted about having these voracious little dinosaur predators around.  So we make the best of the situation by having fun with them in the winter and also by providing ample escape habitat for all the other animals we want around.  Its part of our co-existence policy with due respect for predator/prey relationships. 

As typically happens, birds take partners.  In this case, Cory brought "Gerry" (after Geococcyx the genus name for roadrunners) to our attention in the winter of 2011-12.  Gerry, in the background, was shown how to "beg" for food.  Notice the injured left foot on Cory.  She did just fine limping along but finally disappeared in January, 2013.   

Gerry quickly became a lap bird as well.  This is a most recent pic taken this December.  

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