Greater Roadrunner
(Geococcyx californianus)

Greater roadrunners are one of the most distinctive and recognizable birds of the desert southwest. They are large ground-dwelling cuckoos, 23 inches in length, streaked with black and white.  Their diet consists of insects, lizards, snakes, bird eggs, rodents, and small birds. Roadrunners are most commonly seen darting across the road or racing full speed after a lizard. They often ambush their prey, or hunt in a “stop and go” fashion, constantly pumping their tail. Roadrunners can pursue prey on the ground at speeds up to 15 m.p.h.  They are generally solitary except during the breeding season. Found in desert scrub and arid brushy country, greater roadrunners may be found throughout the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. Washington County is near the northern end of the roadrunners’ range. However, they occasionally wander slightly farther north.

Greater Roadrunner

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