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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Geococcyx californianus
HOUSE NAME: "Chevy"
HABITAT: Arid deserts primarily in southwestern United States
CONSERVATION STATUS: Least Concern
FUN FACT: Roadrunners can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour while running and prefer to run or walk over flight. They can fly but airborne time only lasts a few seconds.
DIET: Ninety percent of their diet is animal matter. They eat a variety of arthropods, lizards, snakes, rodents, bats, birds, eggs, carrion, grasshoppers and other insects. When these prey items are caught they will smash the creature against a rock and then swallow it whole. With seasonal availability they will also consume seeds and fruit. They are very opportunistic feeders and can be quite creative in their foraging strategies. They have been observed snatching insects from leaves, ambushing prey at feeders, in nest boxes, and even knocking low flying birds from the air.
DESCRIPTION: Greater road runners are medium sized birds, weighing ½ to ¾ pound and measuring 19 to 24 inches in length. The head, neck, back and wings are dark brown-black and heavily speckled or streaked with white. The breast is mostly white. The eyes are bright yellow. There is a streak of blue and red skin behind the eye that can be exposed or hidden. They are very streamlined birds with a long tail that can be carried downwards or at an upward angle. Their beak and legs are blue. Their feet are zygodactylous, two toes forward and two backward.
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