Back to list

Greater roadrunner

Geococcyx californianus

Photo: Greater roadrunner
Weights and measures
Length 56 cm
Weight 300 g
Speed 24 km/h
Biological data
Lifespan from 7 to 8 years
Animal description
The Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) is a captivating and distinctive bird native to the deserts and arid landscapes of the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico. This bird, belonging to the cuckoo family, is renowned not just for its appearance but also for its remarkable behaviors and adaptations that allow it to thrive in some of the harshest environments.

Physical Characteristics:
The Greater Roadrunner is a sizeable bird, measuring up to 24 inches in length, making it one of the larger members of the cuckoo family. Its body is streamlined and built for speed, with strong, long legs that enable it to dash across the desert landscape at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. The bird’s coloration is a mottled pattern of brown, white, and black, providing excellent camouflage against the desert terrain. It has a long tail, which it uses for balance and steering while running, and a crest of feathers on its head that can be raised or lowered. The roadrunner’s beak is strong and slightly hooked, ideal for catching and consuming its varied prey.

Habitat and Distribution:
Greater Roadrunners are predominantly found in the deserts and semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States, stretching from California to Texas, and extending south
Map of occurrence
Photo: Greater roadrunner - occurrence
New photos of animals