Greater Roadrunner(Geococcyx californianus)
A large ground-dwelling crested bird from the cuckoo family. It can run fast enough to pursue lizards, snakes, birds and invertebrates as well as escape its own predation. Can be found in desert areas, chaparral, grasslands, open woodlands and agricultural areas. It is a large bird with a long tail and neck and a long pointed bill and a bushy crest. Heavily streaked grey, but proper light gives it an iridescent appearance. It has a blue and red patch behind the eye.

Photo taken 6/6/04.
The Roadrunners are together in a large enclosure. When crickets are released into the enclosure, the Roadrunners put on a fascinating show. They run around, make strange buzzing noises and quickly catch all the crickets.

Photo taken 6/6/04.
Photo taken 6/6/04.
Photo taken 6/6/04.
Photo taken 6/6/04.
Photo taken 6/6/04.

Look at the difference in the sizes of these road runners. This is because the eggs hatched several days apart. In the wild, the smallest ones would probably not survive. At the Center, the larger Roadrunners were put in a separate enclosure so that they would not pick on the smaller helpless ones.
Photo taken 5/8/04. Photo taken 5/8/04.


Four Roadrunner eggs were found at a construction site. They were put in an incubator at the Center. Soon, the eggs starting hatching, one at a time with several days between each. Photo taken 4/24/04.

ALL FOUR ROADRUNNERS WERE SUCCESSFULLY RELEASED IN JULY 2004.