Roadrunners are one of the few animals that prey on rattlesnakes and tarantula hawk wasps.
Roadrunner Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Geococcyx californianus, Geococcyx velox
Roadrunner Physical Characteristics
Brown, Black, White
3.5 years
Top speed
25 mph
8 to 15 ounces
Roadrunner Distribition

The roadrunner ( Geococcyx) is a huge ground bird in the cuckoo family, occupying desert environments in The United States and Canada. They invest a lot of their time quickly operating on the ground and awaiting victim like rattlesnakes, scorpions, and tarantula hawk wasps. And unlike their animation representations, these fast birds can not rather stay on par with the coyote. Discover whatever concerning the renowned roadrunner, consisting of where it lives, what it consumes, and just how it acts.

5 Incredible Roadrunner Realities

  • Roadrunners have zygodactyl feet, which develop an X- designed noting on the ground.
  • They quest by following victim or jumping mid- air to capture insects, shattering them versus the ground.
  • A group of roadrunners is called a “marathon.”
  • Their phone calls do not seem like “meep meep,” a lot more like “coo- coo.”
  • They can add to 26 miles per hour!

Where to Discover the Roadrunner

Roadrunners stay in The United States and Canada in 6 nations, consisting of Mexico, the USA, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The higher roadrunner stays in Mexico and the Southwestern and South- Central USA, and the minimal roadrunner lives in Mexico and Central America. They populate dry bog and hilly shrublands and forests, remaining in their atmospheres year- round. Seek these birds on the ground, strolling or running as they look for food, and pay attention for their dove- like coos.

Roadrunner Nest

Roadrunners develop their nests with sticks, leaves, plumes, snakeskins, and dung. They position it in a tree, hedge, or cactus around 3 to 10 feet in the air.

Scientific Name

The roadrunner ( Geococcyx) comes from the Cuculiformes order in the Cuculidae family, which incorporates the cuckoos. The Geococcyx genus makes up 2 roadrunner species: the higher (G. californianus) and the minimal (G. velox). Roadrunners are likewise called chaparral birds.

Dimension, Appearance & Actions

What Do Roadrunners Eat?
There are 2 species of roadrunner; the Lesser Roadrunner and the Greater Roadrunner peterjquinn

Roadrunners are big ground cuckoos, gauging 22 to 24 inches and evaluating 8 to 15 ounces, with a 17- to 24- inch wingspan. These birds include slim bodies, long legs, wide tails, and big expenses. They are black and brownish with white touches and include a distinct head crest. They likewise have birthday suit spots behind each in tones of blue and red. These birds and various other cuckoos have zygodactyl feet that help their quick rates. Their feet likewise make X- designed markings on the ground, which show up to relocate both instructions.

Roadrunners are fairly singular and favor to be alone or in sets. Nonetheless, if you see an unusual group of roadrunners, you can call them a “marathon.” These species make a slow-moving, descending- slurring dove- like coo (not “meep meep”). And it can likewise trigger fast clattering noises with its beak. They are fairly solid fliers however favor to invest much of their time operating on the ground. The roadrunner can get to quicken to 26 miles per hour!

Movement Pattern and Timing

Roadrunners are nonmigratory and remain in their atmospheres year- round.


The roadrunner is an opportunistic omnivore that mainly consumes insects and little reptiles.

What Does the Roadrunner Eat?

Their diet includes crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, lizards, serpents, rodents, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, snails, little birds, eggs, fruits, and seeds. It is just one of minority animals that take advantage of rattlesnakes and tarantula hawk wasps. The roadrunner pursues on the ground, concealing under cover and following victim. It can jump right into the air to capture insects and after that wrecks them versus the ground.

Predators, Hazards, and Conservation Status

The IUCN provides both species of roadrunner as LC or “least concern.” Because of their considerable array and big, secure population, these species do not fulfill the “intimidated” condition limits. Their greatest hazards consist of prohibited capturing, environment loss, and fragmentation from urbanization (growth and website traffic).

What Consumes the Roadrunner?

Roadrunner predators consist of coyotes (obviously), raccoons, skunks, residential cats, hawks, and various other predators. Sets will certainly safeguard their areas from their kind and various other hazards. Nonetheless, they commonly fly or escape from predators, as they typically escape swiftly. Yet, unlike the animation, roadrunners are no suit for the Wiley coyote, that can run over 40 Miles per hour.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Roadrunner sets are virginal and friend permanently, protecting their areas with each other all year. Throughout courtship, males execute display screens and hang food from their expenses to attract the females. As soon as sets develop, their reproductive period lasts from springtime to mid- summer season. Females lay 2 to 6 white eggs, and both moms and dads take transforms breeding for 19 to 20 days. Their young fledge the nest 2 to 3 weeks after hatching out however forage with their moms and dads for a couple of even more days after leaving. They end up being sexually fully grown around 2 to 3 years and have an ordinary life-span of 3.5 years. Nonetheless, they can measure up to 7 or 8 years.


The worldwide roadrunner population is unidentified, however the minimal roadrunner alone has actually an approximated 500,000 to 5 million fully grown people. Information fads reveal both species have secure populaces without severe changes or fragmentations.


  1. International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, Available here:
  2. International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, Available here:
  3. Maxon, Martha Anne (2005) The Real Roadrunner. Vol. 9. University of Oklahoma Press, 2005.
  4. National Wildlife Federation, Available here:

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