Greater Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus

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Adult

Distinctive shape, with long neck and legs, and a very long tail. Mostly brown with bold streaks over most of the body, and a lighter buffy belly. Distinct crest and long, heavy bill.

Adult

During the breeding season can show bright blue and red facial skin.

Adult

Prefers to run on the ground rather than flying. Calls with a nasal "meep meep" when running away from danger.

Adult

Large with a very long tail and a slightly crested head. Back and underparts are heavily streaked.

Adult

When flying shows broad, rounded wings with glossy dark feathers, and usually spreads the long tail.

Adult

Eats a variety of prey, including lizards and snakes.

Adult

In cold weather will sometimes expose black feathers and skin on the lower back.

Adult

Will sing or scan for danger from exposed perches.

Adult

Typically occurs in dry, fairly open to scrubby habitats.

Recommended Citation

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/greroa