Greater Roadrunner

New Mexico State Bird


Greater roadrunner  (Geococcyx californianus)

Greater roadrunner  (Geococcyx californianus) : photo by by Ken Phenicie Jr. on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Greater Roadrunner

The roadrunner  (Geococcyx californianus) was designated the official state bird of New Mexico in 1949. Also called the chaparral bird, el corrrecaminos, and el paisano, the roadrunner inhabits desert and shrubby country in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

Although a roadrunner is capable of flight, it spends most of the time on the ground, running at speeds of 15 miles per hour (or more) to catch its prey (insects, small reptiles, rodents, tarantulas, scorpions and small birds). The Hopi and Pueblo Indian tribes believed that the roadrunner provided protection against evil spirits.

New Mexico


Roadrunner in flight; photo by Frank Carey on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Roadrunner in flight

Greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus); photo by Joyce cory on Flickr (use permitted with attribution).

Greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)