We are grieving the loss of a Roadrunner that we found lifeless in our backyard habitat a couple of days ago. In our attempt to reconstruct the death scene, we surmise that a Harris Hawk killed him for food, but was then spooked by Lambchop and I as we were let out to play in the yard.

In our previous Blog discussions of our backyard habitat, we have shared moments of fun, beauty, harmony, and joy with all the gentle creatures that visit. We have also shared surprising and what could have been scary moments with finding rattlesnakes. We have not yet shared moments of sadness when a creature’s survival ceases because they succumb to a predator.

It just breaks all our hearts to know that it was Roadrunner, the iconic symbol of the desert. Roadrunners are such animated birds and have always been one of our favorite backyard habitat visitors. However, believing that a Hawk may have been involved, we are reminded of the lessons learned in Ecology 101. Hawks are predators and birds, like the Roadrunner, are part of their food web. If we were to ask the Harris Hawk: “Why the Roadrunner? He would humbly reply: “Why not? Birds are what I eat.”

For these reasons and more, we do not harbor any negative feelings about the Harris Hawk because he was just being a Hawk. Hawks are magnificent creatures that are so vital to the ecosystem that we should never dismiss them. We must honor both the Roadrunner and Hawk.

Ironically, our next Blog post was going to be about the Harris Hawk. A couple of weeks ago one perched on our fence and my Mom took many pictures and a video. We will share these images soon.

For now, we will continue to mourn the loss of our Roadrunner friend – may he forever run wild and free.

Incidentally, a great book about Roadrunners is called “A Lighthearted Look at the Roadrunner” by Chuck Waggin. Charles Amesbury was an artist and writer whom lived in the desert southwest. He loved the desert and all its wildlife as much as we do. In this book, Mr. Amesbury shares his knowledge of and love for these spirited birds.