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My Life’s Birds: #171

November 5, 2008

April 3, 1994 – Brooks Co, Tx – Early early Sunday morning, the very last day of Spring Break we’d get up and begin the long drive back from the Lower Rio Grande Valley to our home in Southwest Missouri. This is a loooong drive, across the entire state of Texas north to south, and while we’d split up the trip going down, we were mostly ready to get home by the time the last day rolls around. A little drive isn;t going to stand in our way.

The drive across the southern part of Texas as the sun comes up allows for many interesting sights. This is, after all, the best time for birding, and several birds take advantage of the highway’s relative dearth of traffic in the early morning. Raptors of course, checking for any animal unlucky enough to fail to get across the four lanes of death overnight. These unfortunate victims are mostly reptiles attracted to the latent heat left by the asphalt, but they in turn attract a special bird, reptilian in its own way.

The Greater Roadrunner was poised on the side of the highway picking at something or other on the tarmac as we approached. My impression was of a ungainly long tailed brown bird bursting back into the mesquite scrub further off the interstate. It was, again, the back side of a bird rather then the front, it would be some time later before I’d get that soul-satisfying look at a wild Roadrunner. The first one counts all the same though.

photo from wikipedia


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