Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Desert Birds >>> Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Geococcyx californianus

 
Photo © by Marc Borom

Photo taken by Marc Borom at the Sonoran Desert Museum, Pima Co., Arizona.

Although the roadrunner is one of the major icons of the Southwest Deserts it is more at home in lusher areas where its success as a predator is higher. It can be found on the flood plains of major rivers and in open areas adjacent to chaparral vegetation. The roadrunner is especially common in agricultural areas and on the fringes of urban residential areas where it can hunt on the ground for an abundance of rodents, lizards, grasshoppers and young birds. In some areas they have developed a taste and a knack for catching fledgling house sparrows. The roadrunner is also legendary for its ability to outsmart and out maneuver a rattlesnake.

The roadrunner builds its nest of sticks usually a meter or two above ground level.

Year-round Resident - Spring/Summer Breeder

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009