Greater roadrunner Facts

Greater roadrunner Facts
Greater roadrunner is a bird that belongs to the family of cuckoos. This interesting bird can be found in the south-western parts of North America and in the Mexico. Greater roadrunner inhabits arid areas, deserts, grasslands, scrublands and woodlands. It can be also found near the urban areas. Number of greater roadrunners in the wild is stable. Factors that decrease their number are habitat loss, hunting and traffic accidents (just like their name suggests - these birds like to run along the roads). At the moment, greater roadrunner is not endangered species.
Interesting Greater roadrunner Facts:
Greater roadrunner can reach 20.5 to 21.3 inches in length and weigh between 7.8 and 19 ounces. They have a wingspan of 19.3 inches.
Greater roadrunner is covered with black, white and brown feathers. It has a crest of black feathers on the head which can be positioned upright when needed.
Greater roadrunner has blue beak and legs. It has yellow eyes and blue-orange patch of skin behind them.
Greater roadrunner has four toes on each foot. Two toes are positioned forward, other two backward. When it walks, it leaves easily recognized X-shaped footprint in the sand.
Grater roadrunner has a pair of glands near the eyes which eliminate excess salt from the body. This feature is characteristic for the sea birds. In the case of roadrunner - it represents adaptation to the life in dry conditions.
Great roadrunner is active during the day. After cold night in the desert, greater roadrunner spends some time in the sun to warm itself before it starts looking for food.
Greater roadrunner hunts and eats various animals: insects, birds, mice, spiders, lizards and snakes. It occasionally eats fruit and seeds.
Great roadrunners can eat poisonous snakes and lizards. They will kill dangerous snake, such as rattlesnake, via cooperative action. One bird distracts snake's attention, while other targets snake's head with its sharp beak.
Main predators of greater roadrunner are coyotes, raccoons, domestic cats, hawks and skunks.
Greater roadrunner can reach the speed of 20 miles per hour. It mainly walks and runs on the ground, but it is also able to fly very short distances.
Greater roadrunner is territorial animal. Mating couple occupies territory of half mile in diameter. Both male and female fiercely defend their territory against intruders.
Greater roadrunners are monogamous birds (one couple mate for a lifetime). During the courtship, male offers gifts (such as dead animals) to female.
Both male and female participate in the building of the nest. It is made of twigs, feathers, leaves, snake's skin and other available materials.
Female lays 3 to 6 eggs that will hatch after incubation period of 20 days. Both parents take care of the eggs and their offspring.
Greater roadrunner can survive 7 to 8 years in the wild.

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