Greater Roadrunner

Geococcyx californianus

Order

CUCULIFORMES

Family

Cuckoos, Roadrunners and Anis (Cuculidae)

Code 4

GRRO

Code 6

GEOCAL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Greater Roadrunner is a long-legged member of the cuckoo family found throughout the southern United States and northern Mexico. This species is the state bird of New Mexico, and can be seen in its breeding habitat in deserts and shrublands. The Greater Roadrunner is found in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, and sometimes Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana. This species spends most of its time on the ground, and nests on platforms of sticks in low bushes or in a cactus. Its diet consists of insects, reptiles, rodents, tarantulas, scorpions and small birds. The conservation rating of the Greater Roadrunner is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Greater Roadrunner: Large, ground-dwelling cuckoo with overall brown, white and buff streaked appearance. Head has a shaggy crest. Face has blue and orange bare patch of skin behind eyes. Tail is long. Eats insects, lizards, snakes, rodents, small birds and fruits and seeds. Can run up to 15 mph.


Range and Habitat

Greater Roadrunner: Resident throughout much of the desert regions of southern and southwestern United Sates, and also Central America. Most common in the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas and the South Texas brushlands. Their habitat includes open, arid habitats with shrubs and thickets, desert scrub, chaparral, savannah, open brush-lands and open woodlands.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"coooos"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Roadrunners can fly, but they usually don’t. Instead, they run at speeds up to 15 mph.
  • It is the state bird of New Mexico. It was adopted in 1949 under the name of “Chapparal Bird.”
  • To warm up without spending a lot of energy, roadrunners erect their feathers to expose the underlying black skin to the sun’s rays.
  • A group of roadrunners are collectively known as a "marathon" and a "race" of roadrunners.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Greater Roadrunner

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X