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GALLERIES > BIRDS > CUCULIFORMES > CUCULIDAE > GREATER ROADRUNNER [Geococcyx californianus]    [plot on map]

Greater Roadrunner Image @
Location: Salton Sea, CA
GPS: 33.2N, -115.6W, elev=-232' MAP
Date: August 26, 2012
ID : B13K0437 [4896 x 3264]

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Greater Roadrunner Image @
Location: Bosque del Apache, NM
GPS: 33.8N, -106.9W, elev=4,517' MAP
Date: February 12, 2011
ID : B13K7657 [4896 x 3264]

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Greater Roadrunner Image @
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
GPS: 22.9N, -109.9W, elev=16' MAP
Date: September 2, 2007
ID : ? [3888 x 2592]

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The Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) is a large, long-legged bird in the cuckoo family, Cuculidae. It is one of the two roadrunner species in the genus Geococcyx. The roadrunner is also known as a Chaparral.

The adult is about 56 cm long with a bushy crest and long thick dark bill. It has a long dark tail, a dark head and back, and is pale on the front of the neck and on the belly. Roadrunners have four toes, two face forward, and two face backward.

The breeding habitat is desert and shrubby country in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It can be seen in the US states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas,and rarely in Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana. The Roadrunner is the state bird of New Mexico.

The Greater Roadrunner nests on a platform of sticks low in cactus or a bush and lays 3-6 eggs which hatch in 20 days. The chicks fledge in another 18 days. Pairs may occasionally rear a second brood.

This bird walks rapidly about, running down prey or occasionally jumping up to catch insects or birds. It mainly feeds on insects, small reptiles, rodents, tarantulas, scorpions and small birds.

Although capable of flight, it spends most of its time on the ground, and can run at speeds of 15 miles per hour or more.

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greater_roadrunner's Range Map Click here to see the Greater Roadrunner's range map!
Listen to the Greater Roadrunner Call:

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