Greater Roadrunner – New Mexico state bird
Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)
Description: Named for its habit of racing down roads in front of moving vehicles and darting to safety in the brush, the Greater Roadrunner is a ground-dwelling cuckoo of the desert Southwest United States.
Year Designated: 1949
|Life Span||7 to 8 years Years|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
|Wing Span||49 cm|
Taxonomic Serial Number 177836
Compared to the Average State Bird
How the Greater Roadrunner measures up:
- Wing span: 13 cm and 36% larger than the average state bird’s wingspan, (36 cm).
- Weight: 453 g and 533% heavier than the average state bird’s weight (85 g)
- Length: 27 cm, 100%, and 2 times longer than the average state bird’s length (27 cm)
|Appearance||Speckled blue, gray, and brown chest, long and dark tail, and a dark head and back. Bushy crest and long, thick, dark bill. Four toes: two facing forward and two facing backward.|
|Diet||Insects, spiders, snakes, scorpions, lizards, and some fruit.|
|Communication Styles||Downward slurring clattering call.|
Range of Habitation
Desert and shrubby plains.
hakws, coyotes and snakes.
Mating and Breeding
|Breeding Behavior||Monogamous, pairs often mate for life.|
|Breeding Season||Spring to mid-summer|
|Nesting||Shallow platform of thorny sticks placed in a thorny brush, small tree, or cactus.|
|Color||White with yellowish chalky film.|
|Clutch Size||3 to 8 egg(s)|
|Egg Laying Months||Spring to mid-summer|
Eyes closed. Active and able to beg.
|Interesting Fact||The Greater Roadrunner eats many venomous prey items, including scorpions, spiders, and rattlesnakes. Roadrunners often collaborate with another Roadrunner to kill large snakes.|
|Best Season to Observe||Autumn,Spring,Summer,Winter|
|Observation Tips||Often spotted on the ground in the desert near brush and cacti.|