This large streaky bird with a shaggy head is unmistakable, though it does not look much like the famous cartoon. The Greater Roadrunner has a long tail spotted with white and a head with a crest that it raises and lowers as it stalks through the dry open country while hunting.
A very dovelike series of coos, cu-cu-cu-cu-cuurrrr, that slows down and drops in tone as it ends. No Greater Roadrunner has ever been recorded as saying meep-meep!
Roadrunners are fast birds when chasing prey-they can run as fast as 15 mph. They prefer to walk or run on the ground rather than flying and will fly only as a last resort.
Greater Roadrunners prefer very dry habitats, such as brushy desert and chaparral. Watch for them moving methodically through a habitat, hoping to startle a lizard, snake, or mouse into revealing itself.
Roadrunners eat almost anything they can catch: lizards and snakes, small rodents, scorpions and tarantulas, and large insects. They’ll even leap up to catch hummingbirds at nectar feeders.