Every animal knows more than you do.
-- American Indian proverb
Dear Gary: Maybe you can help me.
I've lived in Gilroy for more than 20 years and have seen many wild animals -- coyotes, wild turkeys, mountain lions, wild pigs, and, of course, the many ground squirrels we have.
However, I saw something that I didn't know was native to this area.
I was traveling on Metcalf Road recently and I swear I saw a roadrunner run across my path!
Is that possible?
Dear Doug: Yes, it's definitely possible to see roadrunners (Geococcyx californianus) in Gilroy.
They are common in Southern California and throughout the Central Valley ... and not so common but still to be seen here and there around the Bay Area. I've seen roadrunners myself in Livermore and on Mount Diablo and Mount Hamilton, and I've also had reports of them being observed in Richmond and El Cerrito.
These fast-running birds (up to 15 miles per hour) feed on insects, snakes and lizards, and small rodents.
Haven't seen Wile E. Coyote, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's around, too.
Dear Gary: In last Monday's column you asked for cat vs. bird stories:
Years ago in Cupertino, my aunt and
My uncle once told me about watching as the cat was crossing the driveway. A scrub jay divebombed it halfway across. The cat ignored it and proceeded to preen on the other side. It then crossed back again and was divebombed again. Once more, without a flinch from the cat.
The third time crossing the driveway resulted in the jay getting bolder and closer. The cat jumped up, flipped upside down in midair and grabbed the bird, landing upright on the bird in a flash.
Needless to say, after that the birds left that cat alone.
Dear John: One thing to keep in mind is that if your cats are allowed outside to prey on birds and other wild creatures they then become part of the food chain and, in turn, can be preyed on by red foxes, coyotes and speeding cars.
That's why my cats are indoor cats.
Contact Gary Bogue at email@example.com; or write Gary, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.