The roadrunner! (Geococcyx californianus!)
Okay, so. The first fucking thing you have to know about this fucking bird is that its entire fucking life has a spaghetti western soundtrack. Literally. Its entire life.
I mean, look at that fucking bird. That fucking bird is Clint Eastwood, in bird form. (Not Scott Eastwood. Scott Eastwood is what happens when Clint Eastwood bangs a supermodel*, and she sees fit to bear him a child. I don’t know what Scott Eastwood would look like if he were a bird. Probably some sort of fancy eagle.)
Roadrunners can fly. Let’s just get that out there right now. They are capable of flight. At two feet long and one pound, they retain that sort of unbelievable weight-to-size ratio that birds who can fly have, as opposed to birds who’ve given up on the whole flying thing (Example: The penguin, whose most recent examples have been about the same size, stem to stern, and tip the scale at between seven and ten pounds.). They’re not super good at it, but they don’t suck at it either.
But, given the fact that they can run a flat-out twenty miles an hour, they infinitely prefer running to flying unless something is trying to eat them or there’s a deck that desperately needs perching on.
Above: True to the format of the western, the roadrunner couldn’t give less of a shit about your so-called civilization and its trappings.
Not to be facetious, but they really, really could not care less about people. Like, “Oh, there are people there? Fuck ‘em, I’m there too. Let’s see them deal with me.” They become habituated to the presence of humans pretty much overnight. They also have this attitude about rattlesnakes, though rattlesnakes are small enough for them to eat, so the attitude works out a lot more poorly for the snakes than it does for the humans. (So far.)
Above: Come at me, bro.
Roadrunners are actually a sort of cuckoo, but they’re not the kind of cuckoo that jacks other birds’ nests. They build their own nests, raise their own babies, and teach them to hunt before kicking them out.
They also teach them not to give a damn, because roadrunners don’t give a damn.
Roadrunners also have zygodactyl feet, which is a little unusual for a running bird. Like, if you look at cassowaries and rheas and emus and shit, you’re usually going to be looking at the three toes forward, one (stubby) toe back arrangement. Fuck if they let that slow them down, though.
And this bird is just overall quick. They’re primarily insectivorous, but they’ll take small to moderate size reptiles if the opportunity presents itself. Like rattlesnakes. Yup. Rattlesnakes aren’t quick enough on the draw to beat these birds in a gunfight. And much like Clint Eastwood, these birds are more likely to kill a man with just the power of their faces than a weapon. By which I mean they pick the snake or lizard up with their mouths and just smash it right into a fucking rock until it dies, which I guess actually Clint Eastwood can’t do. I mean, I have to assume that would have made it into a film by now if he could do that. So he probably can’t. But the roadrunner can.
*Ms. Reeves was not actually a supermodel, though she did see fit to have a child by Clint Eastwood.