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.
Adults have a bushy crest and long thick dark bills. They
have a long dark tail, a dark head and back, and are pale on the
front of the neck and on the belly. Although capable of flight,
they spend most of their time on the ground. Roadrunners have
four toes, two face forward, and two face backward. They can run
at speeds of 15 miles per hour or more. They nest on a platform
of sticks in cactus or bushes, where they tend to hide.
These birds walk rapidly about, running down prey or occasionally jumping up to catch insects or birds. They mainly eat insects, small reptiles, rodents, tarantulas, scorpions and small birds.
Their breeding habitat is desert and shrubby country in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. They can be seen in the 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.
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