Several days ago, I looked out one of our north facing windows here in Moberly. Just below the window and grazing along on the ground was the oddest bird I had ever seen. It had a long beak like a woodpecker, but I couldn’t tell from my viewing level if there was any red on the bird’s head. It had a mostly white body with brown stripes, long legs and, I thought, a not-so-long tail. Its tufted head feathers were laying flat.
I told my husband and a couple of friends about sighting this bird. Then, yesterday, I received the June issue of the Missouri Conservationist. Imagine my surprise when I flipped through this favored magazine and spotted my bird, except with a longer tail [The Adaptable Roadrunner; Page 22]. The roadrunner is the closest of any bird I’ve found to be the one I saw, and how fortunate I was to find it in your magazine so close to the date of my sighting. It seems we may have a roadrunner or two as far north as Moberly.
Thank you for your excellent magazine and although “my” bird did not have a tail as long as the one(s) in your pictures, I do believe it is a roadrunner. I will keep my eyes peeled for this bird again and do hope I can shoot a picture of it this time. Unfortunately, we have a huge hawk that patrols our property, too.
Bonnie Bohanon, Moberly
The story on the roadrunner was very interesting to my family. We have had a roadrunner nesting in our yard for the past three years, and it is so amazing to watch. Our dog is afraid of the bird because it is so big. This year we have seen two other roadrunners down the road from us. They truly are a unique bird.
Charlotte Kimball, West Plains
I live a few miles north of Augusta and we see a pileated woodpecker once every couple of weeks. It comes to the woodpecker feeder, but is very skittish. Any movement will scare it off to the trees nearby, but I can often still see it there as well. They are magnificent birds. Thanks, Danny, for your article and picture of the young ones! [“Plants & Animals”; May] I would love to see the rest of the pictures that you didn’t get to publish!
Randy Stone, Augusta
Big Hopes, Little Birds
In your May issue there was an article titled Where have the quail gone? On April 28, the day before this issue came in the mail, I saw what I at first thought was a dove walking down our driveway. Looking closer, I saw that it was indeed a quail. I called to my husband to come look because, even though I was sure that’s what it was, I couldn’t really believe it. It was right in the middle of a street in Springfield, not in a wooded area. I was so surprised I didn’t even think to get my camera, I just wanted to keep looking at it. My thoughts are that it must have been blown into Springfield by the storms that week.
I took my 10-year-old grandson, Brayden, out to see it because he had never seen one before. I told him how it used to be that you could see them all the time out in the country, but not any more. So I was really glad to see the article and we read it together. It gave us hope that there will be quail in the future because of all of the efforts listed in the article. We just want to say thanks to everyone, and please keep up the good work.
Donna Hall, via Internet