New Mexico state bird: Greater RoadrunnerGeococcyxcalifornianus
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New Mexico State Bird Description:
Size: 20 to 21 inches (52 -54 cm)
Wingspan: 19 inches (49 cm)
Weight: 7.8 to 18.99 ounces (221 - 538 g)
The Greater Roadrunner is a large chicken-like bird. Its bodyis streaked with brown and white feathers. It has a mostly white breast with some brown streaking and a dirty brown belly with no streaking.The long, stout bill is bluish and there is a patch of blue and red colored bare skin near the rear of their yellow eyes. The crest isdark blue or black. It has a long tail with white outer feathers.
The female looks similar to the male only smaller.
The Greater Roadrunner lives in scrub desert areas withscattered brush and also in open grassy areas.
The Greater Roadrunner can be found across the southwestern United States from southern California eastward to southwestern Missouri and western Louisiana and southward into central Mexico.
Large insects, snakes, spiders, scorpions, mice, lizards, fruits and seeds are all part on the Greater Roadrunner's diet.
The Greater Roadrunner builds its nest in a thorny bush, cactus or small tree. It is usually close to the ground. The male will gather sticks, leaves, grass, feathers and even snakeskins for the female to use during nest construction. The female will lay 3 to 6 eggs and incubation normally takes about 20 days.
A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know About the New Mexico State Bird:
The Greater Roadrunner can reach speeds ofabout 19 miles per hour while running. It will hold its head and tail nearly flat and horizontal to the ground while running.
It has black skin which helps itabsorb solar energy to warm up after a cold desert night.
Once bonded, a pair of Greater Roadrunners mate for life. They do not migrate and will defend their territory all year round.