The Tripodero is an incredibly unusual bird with a unique hunting style that is found in the folklore of North American lumberjacks.
|California, particularly in chaparral and foothill forests.
|A bird with two telescopic legs and a tail like a kangaroo’s, solidly built with a snout.
|Can elongate its legs to observe the surroundings. Uses its snout to blow sundried quids of clay at prey, knocking them senseless. Solidly built body.
|Primarily preys on game animals found in the chaparral and foothill forests of California.
|Chaparral and foothill forests of California, often in brush-covered areas.
|Limited and anecdotal, based on witness accounts.
|Sightings and Encounters:
|Occasional mentions in local and regional legends and folklore, stories of encounters with lumberjacks.
|Considered a creature from lumberjack folklore; potential misidentifications of wildlife or other animals
What Does The Tripodero Look Like?
The Tripodero is a strange bird that has two telescopic or contractable legs which allows it to make itself taller or shorter depending on where its prey is.
It isn’t described as being particularly big but it is solidly built. It has a long tail that can be compared to the tale of a kangaroo and it has an unusually big beak from which it shoots clay pellets at its prey.
Legends Of The Tripodero
The legend and stories about the Tripodero can be found in two books that tell the stories that are found in the lumberjack folklore of North America.
The first story is found book called, “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts” by William Thomas Cox.
The chaparral and foothill forests of California contain many queer freaks of one kind and another. One of the strangest and least known is the tripodero, an animal with two contractile or telescopic legs and a tail like a kangaroo’s. This peculiarity in structure enables the animal to elevate itself at will, so that it may tower above the chaparral, or, if it chooses, to pull in its legs and present a compact form for crowding through the brush.
The tripodero’s body is not large but is solidly built, and its head is nearly all snout, the value of which is seen in the method by which food is obtained. As the animal travels through the brush-covered country, it elongates its legs from time to time, thus shoving itself up above the brush for purposes of observation. If it sights game within a range of ten rods, it takes aim with its snout and tilts itself until the right elevation is obtained, then with astounding force blows a sundried quid of clay, knocking its victim senseless. (A supply of these quids is always carried in the left jaw.)
The tripodero then contracts its legs and bores its way through the brush to its victim, where it stays until the last bone is cracked and eaten.Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods
The second Tripodero story is found in Henry H. Tyron’s book called, “Fearsome Critters“.
Usually seen around construction camps and engineering jobs. Seldom found about logging works except where railroad location and construction work is going on.
Birds and other small animals constitute his main diet. He is not a fast traveler, but his extension legs (just like a transit) make it possible for him to prowl close to the ground. On spotting game, he slowly extends these legs until he gains a clear sight over the brush.
Focusing the 4-power ‘scope, the rifled, gun-like beak is carefully trained on the victim, a hardened clay pellet from the magazine in the cheek-pouch is inserted in the breech and puffed swiftly on its way. The target is instantly knocked senseless, and is then slowly eaten.
Seldom does the Tripodero miss. He is a deep student of ballistics, and has fine judgment of distance, wind, and drift.Fearsome Critters