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Chaparral Cock - The road runner, a cuckoo like bird of the Southwest, which was called the "Medicine Bird" by some Indians.  This small bird with short wings was considered "good medicine" by the Plains Indians.  The skin, or even some of the feathers, hung in an Indian lodge was believed to bring good luck to the occupants.  Indians also used the feathers of this bird on their whistles in the Medicine Dance.

The road runner, also known as paisano, or "fellow countryman" along the Border, is the deadly enemy of the rattlesnake.  There are tall stories that when it darts toward the snake it catches up a mouthful of chaparral thorns, and weaving in and out as the snake strikes, stuffs the thorns into the reptile's mouth.  It then pecks out the snake's eyes.

The chaparral cock is the state bird of new Mexico.

Related Information within this Site
[ Dance ][ Featherwork ]