GREATER ROADRUNNER


Geococcyx californianus


Description:

A member of the Cuckoo family, this bird prefers to run instead of fly. They can reach speeds up to 15 mph. Their long tail helps to provide stability while running. Like other members of the Cuckoo family, the Roadrunner has two toes pointing forward and two pointing backwards, which allows fast running. Roadrunners feed on small snakes, lizards, mice, scorpions, and insects.


Appearance:

Dark brown upperparts with white stripes, which are actually extensive pale upperwing tips. Pale foreneck and upper breast with dark stripes. Pale belly. Dark head with white spots. Black, bushy crest. Long, thick black bill. Long legs. Long dark tail with white outer feathers. Tail often held in a upright "cocked" position. Blue patch of bare skin behind yellow eye. Sexes similar. 22 to 24 inches in length.


Habitat:

Arid regions and chaparral.


Nesting:

3-5 ivory eggs with a 20 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 18 days after hatching. The nest is flat and made from sticks and lined with grass. The nest is built low to the ground in a cactus or dense shrub.


Observed Locations:

  • Anza Borrego Desert State Park
  • Oak Hill Cemetary, Escondido
  • Wild Animal Park, Escondido





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Albq NM

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Albq NM

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Albq NM

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Albq NM

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Albq NM

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Albq NM

 

 


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