This is a wild juvenile roadrunner, the state bird of New Mexico. For a few weeks this summer, this guy kept following smaller wild birds through the small (5′ long x 1′ tall) tunnel that my backyard chickens use to move between their coop and run in the backyard and their free range space in the fenced in side yard.
The smaller birds want to eat the chickens’ feed. The chickens eat the birds when they can catch them. We were worried that the chickens would catch the roadrunner, since several of our chickens are larger, and they are accomplished hunters.
S/he (roadrunner genders are indistinguishable) learned its lesson after I joined it in the coop to take photos and scared the bejesus out of it. S/he now sticks to hanging around the bird feeders in the open part of the yard with its mother, instead.
I chose this photo because I love living in New Mexico so much, and the roadrunner is a symbol of New Mexico. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of having breakfast with them 5 feet from my table on the back porch!
I lived in Upstate NY for the first 49 years of my life, and always dreamed of living in the southwestern desert. Finally, in 2010, I was able to move to Albuquerque. My family has been through many struggles in the several years that we’ve lived here, but the sunshine, dryness, and natural beauty always cheer me up when things get difficult.
My son and his husband got married in June in the gardens of historic Old Town Farm in Albuquerque. When they got engaged a few years ago, New Mexico was one of the few states where they could be legally wed. By the time they had their ceremony in 2017, they had their choice of all fifty states, but stuck with New Mexico. It was a beautiful wedding and a beautiful place to have the ceremony.