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By on November 30, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter


Photo courtesy of Dean Zatkowsky

Beep! Beep! You might know the greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) from the classic Looney Tunes cartoon and how the character Road Runner always seems to run faster than Wile E. Coyote; but this isn’t the case in real life. In fact, coyotes can run up to 43 miles per hour, while the greater roadrunner clocks in at a top speed of 26 miles per hour. However, while a coyote can pose a serious threat, the greater roadrunner is agile and can escape its predators by weaving in and out of shrubs like a soccer superstar dribbling through the opposing team’s defense with ease. The greater roadrunner is also very well adapted to its environment. It is an opportunistic omnivore and is able to stay hydrated by absorbing water found in it’s prey. Its diet consists of insects, rodents, arthropods like scorpions, tarantulas, and centipedes. They also eat lizards, small mammals, fruit, seeds, snakes (including rattlesnakes), and it’s one of the few predators of the tarantula hawk. The greater roadrunner is a terrestrial bird, meaning it spends the majority of its time on the ground. While the greater roadrunner can fly, it typically only chooses to do so when escaping predators. Next time you’re out on the preserves, keep an eye out for this cunning beauty. You just might catch a glimpse of it before it darts off into the bushes. 


It’s that time of year when the pinkish-white flowers of the California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) have turned into a gorgeous rust color. California buckwheat grows to be on average four feet tall, thrives in full sun, and practically doesn’t need soil to grow. Give it a pile of rocks and it will flourish! California buckwheat is fantastic for pollinators and attracts the likes of bees and butterflies. Birds and deer also love to browse the plant and eat the seeds. California buckwheat provides habitat for numerous wildlife and is an excellent choice to plant in your yard. The Chumash people utilize California buckwheat to treat fever, irregular menstruation, rheumatism, and stomach problems. 

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