Greater Roadrunner

The greater roadrunner is adapted to its desert home by being able to lower its body temperature at night, which conserves energy and conserves water during dry spells. The roadrunner’s feet are also well designed for running on the hard ground. Two toes point forward while the other two point backward.


  • The greater roadrunner has a dark brown, streaked appearance with lighter brown on its breast. It is also easily recognized by its bare red and blue skin on the head and bluish beak.

Fun Facts

  • The greater roadrunners is a better runner than flier. So, generally it will fly only when absolutely necessary.
  • It can run up to 17 mph (27 km/h), and is quick enough to catch rattlesnakes.
  • The greater roadrunner likes to sunbathe.
  • It is the state bird of New Mexico. It was adopted under the name “chaparral bird.”

Created Kind Members

Ground cuckoo

CLASS: Aves (birds)
ORDER: Cuculiformes (cuckoos, hoatzin, and relatives)
FAMILY: Cuculidae (cuckoos, roadrunners, and relatives)
GENUS/SPECIES: Geococcyx californianus

Size: 19–25 in (0.5–0.6 m)
Weight: 8–12 oz (0.2–0.3 kg)
Original Diet: Plants
Present Diet: Insects, lizards, snakes, mice, and sometimes other birds
Habitat: North American deserts and tall pines in East Texas