The Lesser Roadrunner, Geococcyx velox, is a large, long-legged member of the Cuckoo family, Cuculidae.
The Lesser roadrunner resembles the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californiana) in appearance and habit but is smaller and has a significantly shorter bill. Its breeding range is in southwestern Mexico, and north into the western side of the Sierra Madre Occidental range; also northern Central America, and a disjunct range in the northern Yucatán Peninsula. The Lesser Roadrunner eats seeds, fruit, small reptiles and frogs. It forages around roadsides for large insects and roadkill.
The bird is terrestrial; although capable of flight, it spends most of its time on the ground. During flight, the wings are short and rounded and reveal a white crescent in the primary feathers. Roadrunners and other members of the cuckoo family have zygodactyl feet (two toes in front and two toes in back). Roadrunners can run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) and generally prefer sprinting to flying. Roadrunners will fly to escape predators.
Roadrunners are omnivores and are opportunistic. Their diet normally consists of insects (such as grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, and beetles), small reptiles (such as lizards and snakes, including rattlesnakes), rodents and small mammals, tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes,spiders, snails, small birds, eggs, nestlings, and fruits and seeds like prickly pear cactus and sumac. The lesser roadrunner eats mainly insects. Roadrunners forage on the ground and, when hunting, usually run after prey from under cover. They may leap to catch insects, and commonly batter certain prey, such as snakes, against the ground.
- The Road Runner is a popular character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons, distributed by Warner Bros.
- The Roadrunner is the state bird of New Mexico.
(From: Wikipedia, 7 May 2011)