Greater Roadrunner

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image: greaterroadrunner.jpg

Common Name: Greater Roadrunner

Scientific Name: Geococcyx californianus

Size: 20-21 inches (52-54cm)

Habitat: North America; the American Southwest and some instances in Missouri to Louisiana. Found in arid areas.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 1,100,000 Mature individuals. Populations are stable and its range has expanded eastward.

Diet: Snakes, scorpions, lizards and anything else it can catch.

Breeding: Four to five eggs in an open cup nest placed in the fork of a tree branch.

Cool Facts: While the cartoon roadrunner is adept at getting away from Wyle E. Coyote, the real Greater Roadrunner can reach running speeds of 19 mph. To do so, it holds its head and tail flat and parallel to the ground.

To prepare for cold nights, roadrunner will turn their backs to the sun and fluff their feathers. Their skin is black and acts as a solar collector, allowing the bird to stay warm.

Roadrunners eat many venomous prey, including rattlesnakes, scorpions and spiders. While generally solitary hunters. Several roadrunners may gain up on a snake. Roadrunners can also be opportunistic foragers, hiding at bird feeders and nest boxes, in hopes of catching small birds. Male roadrunners will parade their catch by females as part of courtship.

While roadrunners are able to survive on the water content in it’s food, it will drink water if available. It uses salt glands in front of its eyes to excrete excess salt from its blood.

Found in Songbird Remix Cool and Unusual Birds

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