New Mexico’s state bird: the Greater Roadrunner

Lately I’ve had a roadrunner hanging around my house searching for a mate by cooing its mating call and proudly displaying its caught lizard, just like in this photo!

New Mexico designated the Greater Roadrunner as its official state bird in 1949.  Inhabiting desert and shrubby terrain in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, the roadrunner is capable of flight but opts to spend most of its time on the ground.  Reaching running speeds up to 15 miles per hour, its prey include small reptiles, insects, rodents, small birds, and more.

Lore about the roadrunner includes the Hopi and Pueblo native peoples’ belief that it provides protection against evil spirits.

Image by Levi Plummer.

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