Geococcyx californianus

Body Length:10"–12"
Weight:22 oz
Geographic Distribution:Western and southwestern United States, Mexico
Habitat:Desert scrub and dry open lands
Wild Diet:Primarily animals such as insects, gophers, mice, bird eggs, lizards, and small snakes; they also eat various fruits, including prickly pears and seeds
Zoo Diet:Adult mice, baby mice, meal worms, and crickets
Status in the Wild:Least Concern
Location:Feathers and Scales

Roadrunners are large, ground-dwelling members of the cuckoo family. They have a bushy crest, a long beak, and long tail feathers. Although they are capable of some flight, they rarely choose to do so. Their name comes from their ability to quickly run out of the way of cars. They have four toes; two facing forward and two facing backward. Their coloration helps camouflage them in their natural habitat.

Roadrunners rarely fly unless they feel threatened, instead preferring to walk or run at speeds that can reach up to 17 miles per hour. They adjust their behavior to maintain their body temperature throughout the day. For example, they are able to drop their body temperature in response to falling air temperature, such as during desert nights, and are able to quickly warm themselves in the morning by exposing a patch of dark skin on their back to the sun. They have several vocalizations, each having a different meaning. They wag their tail from side to side when something catches their attention.