- 20.5–21.3 in
- 19.3 in
- 7.8–19 oz
- Grand Géocoucou (French)
- Correcamino californiano (Spanish)
- The Greater Roadrunner can reach running speeds of 30 km/hr (18.6 mi/hr). It holds its head and tail flat and parallel to the ground when running at its top speed.
- To warm up after a cold desert night, a roadrunner will turn its back to the sun, fluff its back feathers, and expose skin along its back. This skin is black in order to absorb more solar energy.
- The Greater Roadrunner eats many venomous prey items, including scorpions, spiders, and rattlesnakes. Two birds may cooperate to kill a large snake.
- The Greater Roadrunner is an opportunistic forager. It frequently captures small birds at bird feeders and nest boxes. One was observed to leap up from hiding in a dry riverbed and knock down a low-flying White-throated Swift.
- The desert-dwelling roadrunner uses salt glands in front of its eyes to excrete excess salt from its blood. Such glands are common in ocean-going birds that can drink seawater. The roadrunner is able to get along without drinking water if it eats food with high enough water content, but it will drink readily if water is available.
Found in open arid and semiarid country with scattered brush.
Omnivorous. Insects, spiders, snakes, scorpions, centipedes, lizards, birds, eggs, rodents, carrion, and some fruit.
- Egg Description
- White with yellowish chalky film.
- Condition at Hatching
- Eyes closed. Active and able to beg.
A shallow platform of thorny sticks. Lined with leaves, grass, feathers, snakeskin, and other materials. Placed in thorny bush, small tree, or cactus
Forages primarily on ground, grabbing prey with bill. Beats large prey against a rock or ground.
Although the range has expanded, populations where it is common show no long-term trend.
- Hughes, J. M. 1996. Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus). In The Birds of North America, No. 244 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.