Lesser roadrunner

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Lesser roadrunner
A lesser roadrunner, Geococcyx velox, in Teotitlán de Flores Magón.
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Subfamily: Neomorphinae
Genus: Geococcyx
Species: Geococcyx velox
A map of where the lesser roadrunner lives

The lesser roadrunner (Geococcyx velox) is one of the two species of roadrunner. It looks a lot like the other roadrunner species, the greater roadrunner, but is smaller and has a shorter beak. It is found in Mexico and Central America.

It is large and slender and has long legs. The lesser roadrunner's wings and tail are covered with black, brown and white feathers, and it has a yellowish-white belly. It is 12 to 20 inches in length, and weighs around 8 to 15 ounces. The lesser roadrunner has zygodactyl feet, meaning it has two toes on the back of its feet and two toes on the front.

Where they live[change | change source]

The lesser roadrunner is found in deserts of southwestern Mexico, and northern Central America.

Behavior[change | change source]

Even though the lesser roadrunner can fly, it spends most of its time on the ground. Sometimes it flies to escape predators. It can run up to 20 miles per hour (32 km per hour). The lesser roadrunner makes its nest out of sticks and leaves, and sometimes snakeskin. It lays around 2-6 eggs at a time. Both parents, the mother and the father, take care of the nest and feed the hatchlings, but the males guard the nest at night time and the females guard the nest are day. Once the young hatch they stay with their parents for around 1 to 2 weeks. Then they leave by themselves and never return to the nest.

Feeding[change | change source]

The lesser roadrunner is an omnivore, meaning it eats both meat and plants. They eat mainly seeds,fruits, reptiles like lizards and snakes, insects like grasshoppers and beetles, rodents and other small mammals, scorpions, spiders, frogs, other birds and eggs. Since it is very fast the lesser roadrunner is one of the very few animals which eat rattlesnakes.