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Bird Details

Upland Ground Upland Ground

Greater Roadrunner

Geococcyx californianus

Greater Roadrunner
copyright Herbert Clarke
Length: 23 in. (58 cm)
This famous cartoon character is even more intriguing in life. It lives on the desert floor, agricultural fields and open pine forests. Occasionally it will sit in the top of a bush to sing its courtship song. On cold desert mornings, the Roadrunner warms itself up by raising its back feathers, exposing the black skin under them, and absorbing the sun's energy efficiently. Its foot print in the dust is distinctive with two toes forward and two back to form an "X." This cuckoo relative eats insects, lizards, baby quail, mice, snakes and occasionally fruits. Its stick nest is located low in a dense bush or clusters of cacti. The four-digit banding code is GRRO.
greater_roadrunner.jpg

Male
copyright Herbert Clarke

Chaparral
Chaparral

Desert
Desert

Shrubs
Shrubs

Urban city
Urban city

Agricultural
Agricultural

Savanna
Savanna

Mesquite bosque
Mesquite bosque

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Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Call
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Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Call
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CR_GRRO_2_081901_S.jpg
Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Call

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CR_GRRO_3_020902_S.jpg
Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Call

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Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.