Decades ago, the great roadrunner got its name for running in front of stagecoaches.
Found in Mexico and parts of the southwestern United States, this species eats a variety of creatures including insects, lizards, snakes, birds, rodents, eggs, fruit and seeds. Roadrunners are fast, like the well-known Loony Tunes character and can even travel up to 15 miles per hour. They run not only to escape predators but also to hunt their prey.
Roadrunners typically weigh 7-13 ounces and their wingspan can reach over 20 inches. Usually 20-24 inches in height, roadrunners are brawn with some white feathers. This species can live up to nine years, and females produce one to two broods each year between April and September. Each brood consists of two to seven eggs.
Even though they are birds, roadrunners are not good at flying. When hunted by a predator, they lie down and play dead instead of flying. Some of the birds related to the great roadrunner that also like to run are the Yellow-billed cuckoo and the Eurasian cuckoo. However, the roadrunner is faster than its cuckoo cousins.